Sao Tome Invites Bidding for Blocks Eyed by Major
Sao Tome and Principe’s upstream regulator, ANP, has invited expressions of interest from international firms to explore its offshore blocks 10 and 13.
This follows a request by UK major BP and US independent Kosmos Energy for the two West African Gulf of Guinea blocks to be jointly licensed to them. The UK-US duo is already exploring offshore northwest Africa and looking to invest next year in a floating LNG project there for start-up 2021.
“The National Petroleum Agency, following the request submitted by BP and Kosmos Energy consortium, invites companies or consortia eligible to express their interest in the areas corresponding to blocks 10 and 13 of the Sao Tome and Príncipe exclusive economic zone [EEZ], under the terms of the framework law on oil operations,” said ANP chief Orlando Sousa Pontes in statements dated October 3.
Kosmos recently completed a 16,000 km², 3D seismic campaign in nearby Sao Tome and Principe offshore blocks, partnered by Galp.
Two weeks before the ANP's announcement, Kosmos said it had completed that seismic campaign on blocks 5, 6, 11 and 12, under its production sharing agreement with Portugal’s Galp. Galp owns 45% of block 6 as its operator, plus 20% of the Kosmos-operated blocks 5, 11 and 12. Kosmos says its interests in the four blocks range between 45%-85%.
In addition to its own EEZ, Sao Tome and Principe and Nigeria jointly administer an offshore area based on a treaty signed in 2001 under which 60% of revenues go to Nigeria while 40% are for Sao Tome. US independent ERHC Energy controls blocks JDZ 2, 3 and 4 and plans to drill there soon. It is reported to be in talks with potential partners on a farm-out of one or more interests.
Olivier de Souza