The Angolan state oil company Sonangol issued a statement that it is expected to award concessions and sign contracts with contractor groups in 45 days time, after finishing its examination of onshore oil blocks in the basins of the Kwanza and Lower Congo, reported the Macau Hub.

The blocks up for concession are for oil exploration in the onshore basins of the Kwanza (seven blocks) and Congo (three blocks).

According to Sonangol these blocks may represent over half of all known reserves in Angola, at least 7b barrels.

Among the 38 oil companies pre-qualified for the original bid, which began in April 2014, are Italy’s ENI, US Chevron or Colombia’s Ecopetrol and Portugal’s Galp Energia and Partex.

These are the operators competing. There are also 47 non-operators (minority contractors in groups to be established by block).

In other news, according to AllAfrica the Technical Executive Committee for the National Contingency Plan for Oil Spills met in the Angolan capital, Luanda, to look into the latest cases of spills on the northern Cabinda province coast.

“Following the reports drafted by the technical team, We summoned the members of the executive’s technical committee for the national contingency plan for spills and decided to notify the company involved for negotiations,” said Syanga Abílio the secretary of State for New Environmental Technologies, who chaired the meeting.

The committee is made up of the ministries of Environment, Oil, Territory Administration and the State-run Oil Company, Sonangol.