January 16, 2020 / 3:53 PM / 11 days ago

Eni, Total among winners of rights to develop Angolan 'frontier' blocks

LAGOS (Reuters) - Italian oil major Eni (ENI.MI) and France’s Total (TOTF.PA) were among the successful bidders for rights to develop three offshore blocks in Angola out of 10 auctioned late last year, the country’s petroleum regulator said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: General view taken from French oil group Total's Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) anchored ship "Dalia" located 150 km (93 miles) from Angolan coast, May 31, 2007. REUTERS/Marie Maitre/File Photo

Eni and Total won operator rights to blocks 28 and 29 respectively in the offshore Namibe basin, while Angola’s state oil company Sonangol and majors Equinor EQNRL.OL and BP (BP.L) won smaller stakes, regulator ANPG said in a statement.

All of the blocks are “frontier”, meaning they do not currently produce oil or gas.

The bid round for the fields in the Namibe and Benguela basins closed in November 2019.

ANPG did not award any stakes in the Benguela basin, and some stakes in the other blocks are also still available. It did not give details on why they had not been awarded.

Sonangol won a 35% interest in block 27, but the remaining 65% interest is still on offer. Sonangol also won a 20% interest in block 28. Eni, the operator, won a 60% stake, with the remaining 20% remaining up for grabs.

Block 29 was fully awarded, with operator Total taking a 46% stake, Equinor winning 24.5%, Sonangol taking 20% and BP winning a 9.5% concession share.

Angola, Africa’s second biggest oil exporter, is working to reform its oil industry and broader economy to arrest a drop in production that has heaped pain on the economy.

It has also pushed through broad economic reforms, including a potential sale of stakes of Sonangol and other state-owned enterprises.

ANPG was formed last year to replace Sonangol as the body managing energy concessions.

Reporting by Libby George; Editing by Susan Fenton and Jan Harvey

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