Equatorial Guinea leaves licensing round open until April

The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea has extended the official closing date of the EG Ronda Licensing Round to April 28, 2017.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea said on Monday that, in response to a wave of new exploration interest, it wants to give companies more time to participate in the licensing round.

Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, said: “We can see that the industry as a whole is turning the corner and that the appetite for exploration is greater at the beginning of 2017 than it was last year.

“There is more stability and predictability in the market right now, which we can see is increasing investor confidence.”

The Ministry launched the country’s EG Ronda 2016 licensing round at the Africa Oil & Power conference in Cape Town, South Africa, back in June 2016. The licensing round made available all acreage not operated or under direct negotiation. The Ministry put 37 blocks up for grabs, 32 of them offshore.

The Government decided to announce the successful bidders at the same conference in Cape Town on June 5, 2017.

The Ministry expects to sign new production sharing contracts on September 15, 2017, and ratify those agreements before the end of 2017.

Also, the ongoing efforts to attract more international companies and further explore its offshore territory is part of a wider strategy to revive Equatorial Guinea’s energy sector. The African country recently announced its interest to join the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), relying on a strong track record of supplying abundant oil and gas to global consumers.

Along with the country’s desire to join OPEC, it pledged to cut 12,000 barrels a day of oil production in line with production cuts made by both OPEC and non-OPEC countries.