Seychelles sees oil licensing round 2013 following delay

Posted in Business and Economy at 3:57 pm by Robert Klien

Seychelles has pushed back the bidding process to license 30 oil and gas exploration blocks and is now likely to invite bids in 2013. This was said by a senior energy official.

East Africa has become a hotbed of exploration after several oil discoveries in the area, including oil in Uganda and natural gas finds in Tanzania and Mozambique.

The Seychelles National Oil Company in April announced it was launching bids for 30 blocks, but this was delayed, Patrick Joseph, the company’s exploration manager, told Reuters. “We now expect to launch the bids early next year,” he said.

He said that the country would have liked the process to combine a licensing round and negotiations with potential explorers but would wait for an expected recommendation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on how best to set it up.

So far, Afren Plc and Australia’s WHL Energy are the only companies holding exploration licences in Seychelles, although a few others have expressed interest.

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