Zambia announced its plan to open blocks to drilling with the intention to invite international energy company to conduct exploration projects in the country’s discovered oil and gas fields, said Zambian energy minister.
Mines Minister Kalombo Mwansa said the areas where the oil and gas reserves were discovered last year had been demarcated so that private firms could bid for specific blocks. “The demarcated blocks are being published in the government gazette to invite bids from interested companies,” he said in a statement.
Mwansa added that the selection of successful bids will be conducted in the early part of this year.
“Further exploration of basins with hydrocarbon potential is planned by the Geological Survey Department to take place in 2007. The areas that will show positive results will then be demarcated into additional blocks,” added Mwansa.
In September 2006, Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa announced that oil had been discovered in north-west Zambia and samples sent to laboratories in Germany had confirmed the existence of oil and gas reserves near the border with Angola.

(Upstream Online & AFP)