Colombia to sign contracts with Canadian companies for four oil blocks

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia will sign contracts with two Canadian oil and gas companies for four onshore blocks after no counteroffers were made during the Andean country’s most recent energy auction, the national hydrocarbons agency (ANH) said on Tuesday.

CNE Oil & Gas, a subsidiary of Canacol Energy Ltd CNE.TO, and the Colombian arm of Parex Resources Ltd PXT.TO each placed two bids in an initial auction at the end of last month.

Since there were no counteroffers, the ANH will sign contracts on or after Nov. 30 with CNE Oil & Gas for blocks VIM 44 and VMM 47, as well as with Parex Resources for blocks LLA 134 and VIM 43, according to a statement and the agency’s press office.

The offers are worth an estimated $40 million in total, the ANH added.

“We are very pleased to have received offers in 2020,” ANH President Armando Zamora said, adding Colombia will be able to continue enjoying the benefits of its underground wealth, as well as securing self-sufficiency in energy.

Some 16 companies originally qualified to bid, in a difficult year for fossil fuels due to falling demand, high supply and low prices.

(This story corrects timing of contract signing to “on or after Nov. 30” instead of “on Nov. 30,” paragraph 3.)

Reporting by Oliver Griffin in Bogota; Editing by Matthew Lewis