Subject: LUSA: PM Alkatiri pleased with first oil exploration licensing round

20-04-2006 12:58:00. Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-7921504 Temas:

East Timor: PM Alkatiri pleased with first oil exploration licensing round

Dili, April 20 (Lusa) - East Timor formally opened nine bids Thursday for six of 11 offshore oil exploration blocks in its first Timor Sea licensing round, a source linked to the auction said.

Results of the round, which involves five companies, including Portugal's GALP, will be announced before May 22, while production sharing contracts are to be signed before June 20, the source told Lusa.

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, who attended the ceremony, said in a communiqué that the bids demonstrated that the Timor Sea was "internationally competitive" and that Dili had managed to "win the confidence" of international oil companies "in a short period of time".

Alkatiri also announced that his government would open an international tender later this year for oil exploration on land.

Lusa's source said GALP had bid on two offshore blocks in consortium with Brazil's Petrobrás and Malaysia's Petronas.

Dili took in US$2.4 million in fees from the licensing round, the source said.



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