Equatorial Guinea to Offer 13 Blocks in Licensing Round

Equatorial Guinea will offer up to 13 deepwater and ultra deepwater blocks in its upcoming April licensing round, said the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons in a statement on Tuesday.

H.E. Gabriel Obiang Lima said that the licensing round will offer at least seven blocks, with six additional blocks to be offered if they are reclaimed from concession holders before April 1. The offer will also include an invitation for companies to establish joint ventures for operating a block and related gas development.

The blocks offered will contain offshore Block R, which encompasses the currently stalled Fortuna gas development project. As a result, it will be the first license round to contain both an exploration area and development area.

In September, the Minster announced that the government might deny extensions of existing licenses to oil companies unless they collectively invest a minimum of $2 billion in the country. Companies that could be affected by this include ExxonMobil, Kosmos Energy, Marathon Oil and Noble Energy.

The statement on Tuesday follows the initial announcement by the Minister earlier this month of the oil, gas, and mining licensing rounds at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja. Further details of the licensing round will be made available during the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO) Cape VII Congress and Exhibition, organized by Africa Oil & Power and to be held in Malabo from April 1-5.

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