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Angola May Open Oil Bids Round in 2011

Source: Reuters 3/16/2010, Location: Africa

Angola could re-open a bidding round for oil exploration next year, Oil Minister Jose Botelho de Vasconcelos said in an interview in Vienna.

"The signals sent by the economy last year led us to withhold some bidding rounds," he said. "We have a process that was suspended in 2008. We hope to re-open it at the right time, maybe next year. 2011 could be better."

Angola needed to speed up its $8 billion Lobito refinery project, the minister said while in Vienna to attend Wednesday's OPEC meeting.

"This is a project that we need to accelerate because our internal fuel consumption is growing," he said.

"It doesn't make sense that an oil-producing country does not meet its own domestic demand. We are going to accelerate this project to make it possible to produce fuels in 2014, with the refinery in operation."

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