Subject: Galp, Petrobras to make joint-exporation bid for offshore blocks

East Timor: Galp, Petrobras to make joint-exporation bid for offshore blocks

Dili, Nov. 16 (Lusa) - Portuguese state-controlled energy company Galp and Petrobras of Brazil are to present joint tenders for oil exportation rights in East Timor's territorial waters, an industry source said Wednesday.

Galp and Brazil's nationalized oil firm are among over 30 companies who begin a pre-qualification process this week in Dili aimed to launch a licensing round for 11 offshore blocks in Timor's exclusive economic zone.

Senior Galp executives are among over 80 officials from international energy firms who will attend a two-day conference Thursday to Friday in Dili to be briefed on conditions of the upcoming landmark licensing round from Timorese oil officials.

The pre-qualification is open to all companies on the condition they pay USD 1 million for seismic data from a study carried out by a partnership of Norway's Geo Global Services and PetroChina.

Interested oil companies, who can bids individually or in joint- ventures, will also have to pay a further fee of USD 250,000 for "administrative costs".

The licensing round for the 11 blocks in a 6,600 square-km area of the Timor Sea is expected to get underway between mid-March and June 2006.

Winning bids will be announced after the signing of exploration contracts in the second half of June of next year, Deputy-Minister of Natural Resources José Teixeira told Lusa.

A further 29 offshore blocks in Timor's exclusive economic zone, north of the Joint Petroleum Development Area shared with Australia, will be awarded at a future date, Dili officials said.




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