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    Thursday, February 22, 2024

    Africa’s 2024 Bid Rounds Mean Fresh Opportunities for Upstream Investors

    The Invest in African Energy forum in Paris will feature dedicated licensing round presentations from Africa’s leading oil and gas ministries, showcasing available blocks.

    Africa’s oil and gas blocks continue to draw global investors, from IOCs to junior and indigenous explorers. In a bid to boost production and reserve volumes, the continent is seeking to attract a broader range of companies to sign new contracts and drive exploratory drilling. At the Invest in African Energy (IAE) forum  in Paris this May, upstream investors will access exclusive information and dedicated presentations from Africa’s leading energy ministries on both current and planned licensing rounds. Some of the blocks on offer are particularly gas-rich – aligning with rising global interest in Africa’s underdeveloped gas resources – as well as home to existing discoveries.


    In January, the Federal Government announced plans to launch an oil licensing round in 2024 with 12 offshore blocks, as part of efforts to stimulate deepwater oil exploration and increase the country’s reserve base from 37 billion to 40 billion barrels. Nigeria has set its sights on restoring production to 2.1 million barrels per day in the next two years, which would require up to $7.6 billion in upstream investments and double the current number of drilling rigs. With supermajors Shell, Chevron and TotalEnergies currently leading E&P activities, the planned licensing round aims to attract new investors to the market, with a focus on indigenous participation. Confirmed to participate at IAE 2024, Nigeria’s Ministry of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas) is expected to share more details on the upcoming licensing round and how investors can participate. https://apo-opa.co/3T9YRrD

    Sierra Leone

    Featuring a working petroleum system with proven discoveries, Sierra Leone is committed to attracting new explorers to its frontier acreage. In addition to competitive fiscal terms and a stable operating environment, the country offers extensive 2D and 3D multi-client data and cooperation agreements in place with Angola, Ghana and Equatorial Guinea to help fast-track developmentSierra Leone’s latest and fifth licensing round featuring 56 offshore blocks concluded last September, after being extended due to a high level of interest. Now, another licensing round is on the horizon for 2024 with additional acreage available, to be showcased by the Petroleum Directorate of Sierra Leone at the upcoming forum.


    Angola is currently in the midst of a six-month oil and gas tender that launched last September, with initial results announced last month. The round – part of a six-year hydrocarbon licensing strategy that began in 2019 – features 12 onshore blocks in the Kwanza and Congo Basins and aims to relaunch exploration in onshore areas and diversify the country’s exploration scene to local and independent explorers. The round has already seen success in the latter regard, with state-owned Sonangol and oil and gas independent Afentra awarded interests in Block KON 15 and Angolan private equity firm Enagol acquiring 10% non-operated interests in Blocks CON 7 and KON 7. Remaining license awards will be announced between now and March 2024, with negotiations for production-sharing agreements currently underway.


    Tanzania is expected to launch its fifth oil and gas licensing round by June 2024, with licenses to be awarded by December of the same year. While the details have yet to be disclosed, 26 oil and gas blocks have been initially allocated for tender, including 15 onshore and 11 offshore blocks. Representing the country’s first bid round in over a decade, the licensing round aims to accelerate foreign investment in the country’s upstream sector and showcase its highly prospective acreage. So far, Chinese national oil company CNOOC is leading exploration in the country – in collaboration with Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation – and is conducting seismic surveys in deepwater blocks located nearby gas discoveries made by Shell, Equinor and ExxonMobil.

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