The Energy & Mines Ministry and state energy company Sonatrachlaunched on 1 October the sixth international licensing round for exploration and appraisal of acreage in 10 oil and gas blocks, covering almost 100,000 square kilometres. Interested companies have until 19 March 2005 to submit their offers, which will be made on the basis of a single bid parameter. Awards will be made the following day, with contracts expected to be signed by 30 March.
The blocks on offer, spread over seven basins, do not include the two perimeters that failed to receive any bids in the fifth bidding round, concluded in late July. Bids were not submitted for either the Agreb Ouest 430-431a blocks or the Melrhir 128s-412-413 blocks. Technical information and the main contractual terms related to the blocks on offer will be presented in Algiers on 20 October. A complete data package on the 10 blocks, including geological and geophysical data, will be available for review during a data room session in the capital from 23 October to 16 December, and clarification meetings may be requested from 4-22 December. Companies may suggest changes to the model contract until 22 December. Contracts were signed on 26 September for the eight oil and gas exploration contracts awarded in the fifth licensing round. The seven successful companies and consortia, which are to invest $141 million in about 80,000 square kilometres of oil and gas blocks, were announced on 28 July (MEED 30:7:04).