Lusaka – The Zambian government will issue 10 new oil exploration licenses as it targets 2017 for its first oil or natural gas well, Xinhua news agency reported citing a local media report.
Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development Permanent Secretary Victor Mutambo said the government wanted to expedite exploration works and has since restricted exploration to experienced companies following failure by previous companies to make progress.
“We had advertised for 31 blocks in the country and we received very good response from international companies engaged in oil and gas exploration,” Mutambo was quoted as saying by the Post of Zambia on Tuesday.
“Successful bidders will formally apply to the ministry and we will be announcing successful bidders within the next two to three weeks.”
Mutambo said that the ministry was looking at firms with technical know-how in order to expedite exploration works and the 10 companies have a record of oil exploration in other parts of the world.
“It may be four to five years before we see the first well because first of all they have to do intensive seismic studies and then analyse the data and those areas which will prove to have potential, the companies can then decide to go into drilling of the actual wells,” he added.
The 10 new blocks are situated in eastern, northern, southern and western parts of Zambia.