The international arena continues to beckon explorers
to seek the resources the world needs.
And, the 39 exhibitors at the AAPG annual meeting
in Denver found a receptive audience, especially with healthy prices
and improving contact regimes in many areas.
The African continent
was particularly inviting, with 12 countries offering exploration
licenses wooing the geologists in Denver. Delegations represented
the countries of Cote d'Ivoire, Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea,
Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia
was also well represented in presenting their offerings, including
Brazil, Colombia, Falkland Islands, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname,
Peru and Trinidad and Tobago.
The International Pavilion offered a smorgasbord
of opportunities, some of which were not quite ready for "prime
time," waiting on one thing or another -- mainly having something
to do with pending legislation in their countries.
But for certain, the will was there. And when willing
buyers and sellers get together, deals are sure to be made.
And, many deals are anticipated over the last half
The following summary regarding available acreage
is a brief excerpt from the International Acreage Inventory, a quarterly
supplement published in IHS Energy Group's International Oil
Algeria -- A number of blocks in five basins
are being offered in a Second Licensing Round, with a September
30 bid closing.
Also, bids on five development projects in the Illizi
Basin are being considered by the Ministry and Sonatrach, with a
deadline for the final offer of March 2002.
Angola -- Three ultra-deep water areas have
been tentatively nominated for licensing, with a portion of the
acreage availability subject to the settlement of a maritime border
dispute with the Republic of Congo.
Cameroon -- Exploration and production tracts
in the onshore Douala Basin and the onshore/transitional Rio del
Rey Basin are available.
Egypt -- Thirty-two blocks, 13 onshore and
17 offshore, are being offered. Areas included are the deep Mediterranean,
Red Sea, Gulf of Suez, Nile Delta, Western Desert and Upper Egypt.
Also, AAPG has announced that an International
conference and exhibition will be held in Cairo on Oct. 27-30,
Tanzania -- Seven new blocks, with six in deep
water, are being offered, along with five blocks that received no
bids in the first round. Total acreage available is over 113,000
Kyrgystan -- Six blocks remain available for
direct negotiation. The blocks contain over 75 percent of the country's
Russia -- Observers say complaints by some
of the larger Russian companies on the outcome of recent acreage
tenders has resulted in the delay off the Tenth Bidding Round until
Aug. 31. By decree, companies cannot renew or relinquish acreage,
and all licensing activity with both domestic and foreign companies
is on hold.
Turkmenistan -- Thirty-two Caspian Sea blocks
are on offer, with 18 blocks lying in disputed areas with Azerbaijan
Uzbekistan -- Direct negotiations are invited
for 16 exploration, production and infrastructure projects in all
five petroleum-rich provinces of the country.
Denmark -- The Open Door Policy application
period, which allows applications for any unlicensed acreage in
areas east of 6 ° 15' East, is open through Sept. 2.
Ireland -- In hopes of a licensing initiative
later this year, the ministry has invited industry views on a range
of issues, including areas of interest, perception of prospectivity
and the types of commitments in which the industry would be interested.
Norway -- An offering is expected in the last
part of the year, with companies invited to nominate blocks.
Poland -- A bid round slated for later this
year is expected to include 29 onshore parcels.
United Kingdom -- An offshore licensing round
to include mature areas and North Sea acreage is expected in late
Brazil -- ANP Round 3 includes 53 total blocks
in 12 different basins -- twice the number compared with the two
previous bid rounds. Blocks include 10 onshore, 12 shallow water
and 31 deep or ultra-deep blocks.
Colombia -- Blocks in the unallocated acreage
of the Caribbean Sea are being offered under a 70/30 term for a
maximum of 40 years. Ecopetrol said bids will be judged on work
programs proposed over the first three-year period.
The IHS International Newsletter also reported
the open areas are made up essentially of the former LaGragata and
Los Galeones contract areas (Burlington Resources) and the 25 percent
relinquishment by Texaco of its Macuira and Nazareth association
Ecuador -- With 45 companies registering a
year ago to participate in the Joint Venture Field International
Bid Round, the government has still not been able to agree on a
contract regime to develop the country's five largest fields.
Meanwhile, a seven-company consortium received approval
to build a 503-kilometer oil pipeline from the Amazon to the Pacific.
Guatemala -- Eleven bocks are to be offered
this year. All blocks are in the North and South Peten Basins.
Peru -- Four offshore blocks are offered on
a first-come, first-served basis, with a private round planned if
two or more companies express an interest in the same tract. The
blocks are offshore extensions of the Talara, Sechura and South
Lanacones basins of northwest Peru.
Also available are 13 onshore tracts.
Iran -- Reports indicate that 16 fields, including
eight previously offered to international oil companies under buy-back
terms that received no bids, will be developed by the National Iranian
NIOC reportedly will provide investment capital and
be in control of attracting subcontractors.
Iraq -- The country has been promoting major
field development projects throughout the country long before the
lifting of the oil sales moratorium in mid-July. Nine exploration
blocks are being offered, covering 112,700 square kilometers in
the Western Desert along the Saudi border.
Development projects are being tied to exploration
blocks to encourage bidders.
Meanwhile, Syrian Petroleum Corp. reportedly has
been granted development rights to the 50,000 barrel-a-day Al-Nur
Field and the Akkaz Field in southeast Iraq.
Lebanon -- An offshore bid round is reportedly
Qatar -- A block that abuts the Bahrain border
in northernmost waters has been split, with the portion on the coast
of Qatar to be up for bid later this year.
Australia -- Blocks in four offshore basins
are being offered in a two-phase offering, with phase one bids due
Brunei -- Onshore and offshore exploration
acreage is open for bids through November, including two previously
unexplored and unlicensed blocks in water depths of 1,000-2,8000
meters in the Exclusive Economic Zone.
China -- Thirty-eight blocks are being considered
for licensing by CCAD of PetroChina. The blocks awaiting the final
government green light are all onshore.
Additionally, PetroChina is offering the development
of an additional six gas fields in the Tarim Basin, which will involve
the construction of the Tarim-Shanghai gas line.
India -- The ministry is planning to launch
a third New Exploration Licensing Policy licensing round in the
last quarter of 2001, with plans to move the country toward an open
acreage system in 2003.
Meanwhile, awards are expected at year's end on seven
blocks offered for coalbed methane projects.