11 November 2013, News Wires – Sudan is stepping up its exploration efforts with a plan to auction off five oil blocks in December, according to its petroleum minister.
“We are going to have a bid round next month,” Sudanese Oil Minister Awad al-Jaz told reporters in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
He said the blocks would comprise three offshore and two onshore areas.
Last year, Jaz told Reuters that Sudan had awarded nine exploration blocks to consortiums formed by companies from Canada, Brazil and the Middle East.
According to a government official, French explorer Maurel & Prom signed a memorandum of understanding for an offshore block last year.
Canada’s Statesman Resources also has oil exploration and production-sharing deals with the African country.
Sudan is expecting to double its oil production to 300,000 bpd by next year, from about 120,000 barrels per day in 2012.
The country lost three quarters of its oil output when South Sudan broke away from it in July 2011.