(Adds details, estimates on reserves)
LUANDA, April 14 Angola will start the tender
process for onshore oil exploration at 10 new blocks in the
Congo Basin and Kwanza Basin on May 30, state oil firm Sonangol
said on Monday.
Companies that want to take part in the tender must submit
documentation on their business structures, activities and
finances by April 30 to enter the pre-qualifying stage, Sonangol
said in a statement.
Angola, Africa's biggest oil producer after Nigeria,
extracts nearly all its crude from offshore fields, but is
seeking to develop its onshore potential.
Sonangol said in February that the 10 blocks may hold, on
average, reserves of 700,000 barrels of oil each. The government
puts Angola's total reserves at just under 13 billion barrels.
Seven of the new blocks are in the Kwanza basin and three in
the Congo Basin.
Angola produced 1.73 million barrels of oil per day on
average last year, with major international firms such as
France's Total, Britain's BP and Chevron
of the United States among the leading operators.
Sonangol said on Monday that firms already operating in
Angola would not be exempt from submitting documents for the
pre-qualifying stage for the new onshore blocks.
(Reporting by Shrikesh Laxmidas; Editing by Ed Cropley)