June 13, 2018 / 12:43 PM / 8 days ago

UPDATE 1-Congo Republic to launch call for oil license tenders in September

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DAKAR, June 13 (Reuters) - Congo Republic will open a call for oil license tenders in September followed by a promotion campaign at an oil conference in South Africa in November, Congo’s hydrocarbons minister and conference organisers said on Wednesday.

This is Congo’s first licensing round since oil prices rebounded significantly in 2017 after plummeting in 2014 due to global oversupply. Interest in the tender will act as a bellwether for the country’s oil reserves and production now that higher prices have made drilling more viable.

The joint statement said that the licensing round would last until June 30, 2019. It follows a previous round in 2016, in which 30 international companies registered to participate.

The auction will involve around 15 offshore and onshore blocks in the Cuvette Basin, according to information on the hydrocarbons ministry’s website.

Congo’s energy industry has staged an unlikely comeback over the past year thanks to major finds from ENI and Total, boosting an economy hobbled by huge debt, civil unrest and deep-rooted corruption. (Reporting By Aaron Ross Writing by Sofia Christensen Editing by Tim Cocks and Louise Heavens)

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