29 October 2013, News Wires – Angola’s onshore licensing round that had been expected before the end of the year will not be launched until the first quarter of 2014, the country’s oil minister said.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the Energy Week conference in Moscow, oil minister Jose Botelho de Vasconcelos said: “This year [the round] is not possible. It will be in the first quarter,” Reuters reported.
The minister said that 15 blocks would be on offer next year.
State player Sonangol said last month the round would be held before the end of the year, with the final number of blocks yet to be decided.
Vasconcelos also said Angola would welcome bids from Russian companies, commenting: “If, for instance, Rosneft is interested in our projects, we are open.”
Africa’s second largest producer after Nigeria, Angola has targeted raising its current daily output of 1.7 million barrels per day to 2 million bpd by 2015.
The minister said that production was on track to total “about 1.7 mbpd this year, 1.8 mbpd in 2014 and 2 mbpd in 2015”.