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Gabon to Launch Licensing Round for Over 40 Blocks

Source: Reuters 11/5/2009, Location: Africa

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Gabon will open a new oil licensing round for over 40 blocks from two of its deepwater basins in May next year, an official at CGGVeritas said. "The licensing round will be announced in May 2010 and it will close in November that same year," said Steve Toothill, chief geologist at the geophysical contractor.

"It's a deepwater licensing round and we are looking at sub-salt plays," he told Reuters on the sidelines of an African oil conference.

He said some companies have already shown interest in the blocks to be offered.

"There are already some companies who have signed up to buy data in the area they are all deepwater players; it will be expensive drilling so that's why the big major and the larger independents are interested," he said. Toothill said his company CGGVeritas bought around 12,000 km of new seismic data and had reprocessed a lot of existing data.

We have seen some big structures below the salt so there could be some very large fields there is big potential there," he said.

"You have a vast unexplored basin and what drilling has been there have so far only been above the salt."

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