Libya has announced a December 31st deadline for the submission of bids for three packages of exploration blocks, according to reports on November 9th.
Foreign companies interested in bidding on the 15 exploration blocks bundled into three packages had been awaiting a deadline for submissions after data rooms opened in July for the blocks.
The packaged blocks are comprised of a mixture of prime acreage in the oil-rich Murzuk, Sirte and Ghadames basins and high-risk acreage in unexplored areas. Data rooms for the blocks are to close on November 30th, while data rooms for an additional 120 blocks available in the latest licensing round will remain open.
Industry sources said that between 14 and 20 companies had been selected to participate in the licensing round offered by the National Oil Co. (NOC). The round, which will open up nearly 70 percent of Libya’s acreage for exploration, has drawn much interest after the suspension of UN sanctions against the country in April 1999.
Oil majors such as Royal Dutch/Shell have shown interest in the offering and are expected to form consortiums to bid on the packages.
The first package on offer consists of a block in the Murzuk basin, two blocks offshore in the Mediterranean, a block in the Sirte basin and another in the largely unexplored Kufra basin in the southeast. Package two includes a block in Sirte, three in the Cyrenaica basin in the northeast and one in the Ghadames basin.
The third package comprises two blocks in Sirte, one in Cyrenaica and two offshore close to the Egyptian border. Some participants are eyeing the round warily after rumors that NOC has already reserved a certain number of the blocks.- (oilnavigator)