It was reported on November 15th that Gabon is extending its ninth licensing round to January 15th, 2001 and is considering opening up a data room in Houston in what appears to be an attempt to lure greater foreign interest in its oil sector.
The round was launched on April 17th at the annual meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists with data rooms opened in New York and London, after Gabon’s eighth licensing round was hit hard by low oil prices and concerns from international bidders about the geology of Gabon’s ultra-deepwater structures.
In its latest round, the West African producer has offered up 27 blocks, including nine deepwater blocks, five shallow water and 13 onshore blocks. The government is said to be dangling lower royalty rates and better profit-sharing ratios to entice investors.
Suffering from a serious decline in crude production, Gabon had turned to a web portal site run by a subsidiary of Schlumberger Oilfield Services to handle the round.
Petrolin, the company authorized by the Gabonese government to promote the African country’s acreage, inked a deal with IndigoPool.com, a Schlumberger Oil Services company, to market the ninth licensing round online.
Under the arrangement, prospective bidders can browse the data and perform in-depth asset analysis online, without having to travel to the West African country.
Gabon was the first oil exporting country to turn to a portal site to broker oil field investment in the hopes of attracting high interest in its acreage.
The Schlumberger e-business portal was launched on January 31st with the intent of being the first global online service for upstream companies and natural gas producers to market their energy properties and data.