More license rounds in prospect offshore Africa

Licensing round activity looks set to continue next year in a number of offshore regions, according to data/analytics company GlobalData.

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Offshore staff

LONDON – Licensing round activity looks set to continue next year in a number of offshore regions, according to data/analytics company GlobalData.

Its report, “Q4 2019 Global Bid Round Outlook – US Dominating Current & Upcoming Licensing Activity,” shows that eight licensing rounds across the continent are either still open or have closed during the quarter, with 13 countries potentially offering acreage in 2020.

Toya Latham, Upstream Oil & Gas Analyst at GlobalData, said: “The year has held mixed fortunes for those hosting licensing rounds in Africa. “Some rounds, for example Ghana’s First Licensing Round, have seen limited success, whilst others have suffered delays or suspension."

Latham added: “Gabon’s 12th Licensing Round and Somalia’s First Offshore Licensing Round have been extended into 2020 (this is in part due to delays in enacting pivotal legislation), whilst Madagascar’s long-overdue licensing round has been suspended.”

Angola is preparing to launch its 2020 Bidding Round following its 2019 round, which closed earlier in the current quarter, and which received bids for offshore frontier acreage from ENI Angola, Total Angola, and Sonangol. Several other countries, including South Africa, plan to initiate licensing rounds once they have introduced new legislation.

Latham cautioned: “Enacting new legislation prior to the launch of a licensing round introduces a timing-risk, which could potentially lead to delays in opening the round. “Additionally, in light of recent licensing round results globally, it is likely that the terms introduced could have a significant impact on the amount of investment that is attracted.”

Elsewhere, 11 licensing rounds in the Americas are also scheduled to close this quarter. They include Brazil’s 6th Production Sharing-PreSalt Round, which led to the award of one sole block to Petrobras.

12/16/2019

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