Zambia Says Eight Firms Bid for Oil Exploration

Source: Reuters 11/8/2009, Location: Africa

Eight foreign and local firms have submitted bids to explore for oil in three provinces in Zambia, Godwin Beene, permanent secretary for the ministry of mines and minerals development said.

Zambia, Africa's top copper producer, invited bids from foreign companies for oil exploration in June after demarcating 23 oil blocks in its northwestern, western and eastern provinces.

Beene said in a statement foreign companies GP Petroleum and Petrodel Resources from the United Kingdom, Glint Energy from the United States and Exile Resources from Canada had submitted bids along with four Zambian firms. "The Petroleum committee has begun analysing the bids and the minister of energy will announce the names of the successful bidders after the committee completes its work," Beene said.

Beene said the successful bidders needed to demonstrate proven ability to raise the funds required for the projects, and also show they have assets, machinery, technical expertise, equipment and tools required to explore, produce and sell oil.

The bids were initially scheduled to close in August but the government extended the tendering period to allow more companies to submit their bids Zambia does not produce oil, but the government says soil samples sent to European laboratories, have shown good traces of oil, particularly in areas bordering oil-producing Angola.


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