Zambia to offer 25 oil and gas blocks in tender

Jun 15, 2007 02:00 AM

Zambia plans to offer 25 blocks for oil and gas exploration in a bidding round for international companies in the next few weeks, the finance minister said.
The bidding round, Zambia's first, follows an announcement in October last year that the landlocked southern African country had discovered oil and gas reserves in the northwest of the country bordering oil-producing Angola.

"We are now preparing the newspaper advertisement to invite interested parties to bid for the exploration on 25 blocks, and in the next few weeks or so we should be tendering for this," Ng'andu Magande told on the sidelines of the World Economic forum for Africa in Cape Town.
Magande said Zambian oil officials had visited Norway to get more expertise on how to conduct the bidding round.

The discovery was made by government geologists who had also carried out soil sample analysis confirming the find. The government would select a foreign oil firm or firms to conduct comprehensive exploration, to determine the size of the identified oil and gas reserves.
The tender may also require them to expand the scope of the study to other districts of Zambia, he added.

Zambia does not produce oil but exports refined petroleum products to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.
Zambia currently imports its crude oil from the Middle East and refines it at the Indeni Oil Refinery, which is in the copper-rich northern region of the country.

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