December 1, 2010 / 9:57 PM / in 7 years

Guatemala seeks bids for oil exploration zones

GUATEMALA CITY, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Guatemala on Wednesday began seeking bids from foreign oil companies interested in exploring four possible oil patches in the northern part of the country.

Guatemala published the details of the tender rules on Wednesday in the official gazette but did not speculate about what kind of reserves might be found in the areas up for bid.

The energy and mining ministry will receive bids on April 8, 2011 the government said.

Three sites are located in the northernmost Peten department and the the other site is located between the Alta Verapaz and Quiche regions north of the capital city.

Oil interests from Russia, Canada, United States, Colombia, Mexico and Brazil have all expressed interest, the government said, without giving further details.

This is the first bid since 2002 to exploit new oil fields in the Central American country. Guatemala is currently producing between 35,000 and 40,000 barrels of heavy oil per day mostly from wells in Peten. (Reporting by Herbert Hernandez, writing by Patrick Rucker; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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