The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) launched, as part of Abu Dhabi’s block licensing strategy and on behalf of the Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC), the second bid round for five new oil and gas blocks, ADNOC reported.

The five new blocks open for bidding are Offshore Block 3, Offshore Block 4, Offshore Block 5, Onshore Block 5 and Onshore Block 2, with the latter offering two separate licensing opportunities for conventional and unconventional oil and gas, respectively. In total, they cover an area of around 34,000 km2.

“This second bid round provides the next major opportunity for both new and existing partners, with best-in-class exploration technology and expertise, to join us in further unlocking Abu Dhabi’s substantial hydrocarbon resources in the UAE’s trusted and reliable investment environment,” Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, UAE Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO, said.

“It signals both Abu Dhabi’s and ADNOC’s ongoing drive to realize the potential of our resource base to remain a long-term and reliable energy provider to the world,” he added.

The winning bidders will enter agreements that will grant them exploration rights and the opportunity to develop any discoveries under terms that will be determined in the bid package.

According to existing data from petroleum studies, seismic surveys, exploration and appraisal wells data estimates, the blocks in the second bid round may hold multiple billion barrels of oil and multiple trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Launching the bid round supports Abu Dhabi’s initiative to accelerate the exploration and development of its huge untapped resources.