LAGOS (Reuters) - A bid round for nine oilfield licenses in Angola could be delayed by the coronavirus outbreak, the national petroleum regulator said on Thursday.
The Agencia Nacional de Petroleo, Gas e Biocombustiveis (ANPG) said data packages were now available for three fields in the Lower Congo and six in the Kwanza that are to be auctioned this year - but warned the virus could impact the process.
“All conditions were created so that by the end of May, the announcement of the intention to launch the public tender was made,” ANPG said on its website.
“Due to the current economic constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this date may undergo minor adjustments.”
While Angola has reported just 71 cases of the COVID-19 disease and four deaths, the global impact of the outbreak has severely impacted its oil industry, halting drilling for the first time since 1984.
Angola launched a series of oil and gas licence auction rounds last year as part of a multi-year plan to boost declining output. The ANPG itself was created in February 2019 by presidential decree to remove oversight of oil and gas exploration from state oil company Sonangol in an effort to boost flagging production.
Reporting by Libby George; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne