Colombia qualifies 6 for oil licensing round

By
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Six oil companies have qualified to bid for all 15 blocks on offer in Colombia's Sinú-San Jacinto basin onshore licensing round, according to local industry regulator ANH.

Eligible companies are Spain's Repsol, China's Nexen, Canadian juniors Gran Tierra and Parex, Texas-based Noble Energy and Hocol, a subsidiary of Colombian state company Ecopetrol.

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According to ANH documents, qualified companies will have until April 5 to submit proposals. Block winners are scheduled to be announced on April 18.

The rights tender involves exploration blocks - including two with proven reserves - in the northern departments of Sucre and Bolívar.

Last month ANH president Orlando Velandia said minimum exploration investments in the areas will total US$500mn.

The Sinú-San Jacinto round is Colombia's first major offering of oil and gas rights since 2014 and will provide one of the earliest tests of the country's appeal to investors since the 2016 peace accord between the government and FARC rebels.

The government expects interest in the round to be spurred by a revamp of upstream regulations that provide greater flexibility for developers, as well as a rebound in international oil prices.