Algeria launches new licensing round

After failing to generate interest in its December offering, Algeria launched a licensing round for 25 blocks it said have “high-potential petroleum resources.”

Uchenna Izundu
OGJ International Editor

LONDON, July 1 -- After failing to generate interest in its December offering, Algeria launched a licensing round for 25 blocks it said have “high-potential petroleum resources.”

Energy and Mines Minister Chakib Khelil said Algeria would work with companies that have technology to handle unconventional gas, rather than those who want to swap reserves in other countries.

Khelil said, "It will be for companies with tight sands technology, so there will be some prequalification done in that area."

Potential operators have selected blocks being offered, said Khelil. They are to submit bids by Dec. 20 and contracts would be signed Jan. 16. The blocks are in basins where previous discoveries were made by Repsol-YPF SA and StatoilHydro.

Algeria will make a technical presentation July 27 and will open data rooms for each project from Aug. 15 to Oct. 22.

Foreign oil companies didn’t show much interest under Algeria's last bidding round for 11 licenses, complaining poor acreage was offered and of the impact of the financial crisis.

E.On Ruhrgas AG, BG Group PLC, Eni SPA, and OAO Gazprom filed successful applications for the December licensing round.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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