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Angola has received 15 bids for a total of nine oil blocks the government tendered in 2020, Energy Voice reports, citing the Africa Energy Chamber as saying that 15 companies submitted a total of 45 offers for all of the tendered blocks.
The combined value of the bids topped $1 billion, the Chamber also said.
Angola has been suffering from declining production due to a lack of investment in new exploration. The tender results are rather encouraging for the West African country that is the continent's second-largest oil exporter, struggling to get its oil industry back on track after years of mismanagement and corruption at the state oil company.
All the nine blocks tendered are onshore, with early exploration results pointing to 13 commercially viable fields, per the Energy Voice report, and one natural gas field. The estimated reserves at these fields range between 5 and 40 million barrels of crude. More reserves are likely to be discovered with further exploration, the Africa Energy Chamber noted, citing the national petroleum agency.
Earlier this year, Italy's Eni struck oil offshore Angola. The company said it believed the exploration well, drilled at 500 meters in the Cuica exploration prospect, could hold as much as 200 to 250 million barrels of oil and presents the second big oil discovery in the area.
"The well-head location, intentionally placed close to East Hub's subsea network, will allow a fast-track tie-in of the exploration well and relevant production, thus immediately creating value while extending the Armada Olombendo FPSO production plateau. It is expected that production will start within six months after discovery," Eni stated.
Angola currently produces less than 1.3 million bpd of crude, and it is not only because it is bound by its OPEC membership to keep a cap on output. The country has a much larger production potential, but it has yet to be realized, and the 2020 tender appears to have been a potentially significant step in that direction.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.