Algeria has delayed its upcoming oil and gas licensing round for a second time, pushing the deadline for bids back by around four weeks.

The date set for submissions to the tender has been changed to 30 September from 4 September, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Originally Algeria launched the bidding round with a deadline of 6 August, but this was delayed in June after officials said foreign oil companies had asked for more time.

31 fields are on offer in the upcoming round, including a number of sites with shale gas potential.

Algeria has repeatedly struggled to attract interest from international oil companies in its oil assets due to onerous terms.

The last round took place in 2011 and saw minimal interest from international oil companies. Only two of the ten exploration licenses on offer were awarded – leaving swathes of the country that are potentially rich in hydrocarbons unexplored and undeveloped.

In 2013 Algeria amended its hydrocarbon law to make it more attractive to international oil companies, but it is uncertain whether enough has been done to make the upcoming licensing round a success.