ABU DHABI Nov 10 Sudan plans to auction five
oil blocks in December, its petroleum minister said on Sunday,
as the African country steps up exploration.
"We are going to have a bid round next month," Oil Minister
Awad al-Jaz told reporters in Abu Dhabi. The blocks will include
three offshore and two onshore, he said.
Sudan had awarded nine exploration blocks to consortiums
formed by companies from Canada, Brazil and the Middle East, Jaz
told Reuters last year.
French explorer Maurel & Prom signed a memorandum
of understanding with Sudan for an offshore block, a government
official said last year. Canadian company Statesman Resources
Ltd also has oil exploration and production-sharing
deals with the African state.
Sudan, which lost three quarters of its oil output when
South Sudan seceded from it in July 2011, expects to double its
oil production to 300,000 barrels per day by 2014, from around
120,000 bpd in 2012.