According to the Director of Negotiations of the concessionaire Agência Nacional de Petróleo, Gás e Biocombustíveis (ANPG), promoter of the tender, the number of competing companies was satisfactory, especially due to the massive participation of national companies.
Among these, the state-owned oil company Sonangol Pesquisa e Produção stands out, with a proposal for Block KON 5, with a 20 percent participation as a non-operator and an annual contribution of 2.5 million dollars for social projects and the same amount for environmental protection projects.
"We were able to measure that, effectively, the strategy for this bid is being fulfilled," said Hermenegildo Buila, also president of the jury panel, stressing that this bid was prepared specifically to allow small and medium-sized companies to enter the Angolan oil sector.
The official noted that 13 national companies participated, as operators and non-operators, and three international companies, including MTI Energy, from Canada, which presented proposals for eight blocks (CON5, CON6, KON5, KON6, KON8, KON9, KON18 and KON20), in all as operator, and stakes of 50 percent and 60 percent, with annual contributions of two million dollars for social projects and an equal amount for environmental protection projects.
"MTI Energy is a Canadian company, with high technical and financial capacity recognized internationally, which has shown interest in participating in these bids, with very aggressive proposals, we hope that it effectively enters the Angolan oil sector, becoming in the future a new major player in Angolan exploration and production," he stressed.
Questioned about the absence in the bidding of large operators already installed in the Angolan oil market, namely ENI, Total, and BP, Hermenegildo Buila considered it "normal, taking into account that the bidding was prepared specifically, without restrictions, for small and medium-sized companies.
"ENI, Total and BP are companies that are focused on another horizon, offshore for offshore blocks and the size of these blocks does not make up the size of these companies, which does not mean that these companies cannot participate onshore in Angola, for example we have ENI operating in onshore blocks," he stressed.
Regarding Sonangol's participation as a non-operator, the official noted that it was a strategy of the company, which has a stake in all of the country's oil concessions, competing in that capacity "perhaps so as not to increase its responsibilities.
Most of the Angolan competitors presented proposals for participation as non-operators, which, according to the ANPG's Negotiations director, cannot be associated with a lack of financial capacity.
"To be an operator one must have the technical capacity to operate in a certain concession, as we know we have Angolan companies that already operate, as is the case of Somoil, which is bidding as an operator, but the others that bid are present in the oil market, but in the goods and services sector," he explained.
According to Hermenegildo Buila, these companies associated themselves with other international companies with the technical and financial capacity to work, so that in the next bidding contest more national companies can participate as new operators.
The oil block that received the highest number of bids was Congo Block 6, with nine bids.
The results of this tender for the nine blocks, being three in the onshore Lower Congo Basin (CON1, CON5 and CoN6) and six in the Lower Kwanza Basin (KON5, KON6, KON8, KON9, KON17 and KON20), may be presented in the next two months.
In her speech, ANPG's administrator, Natacha Massano, underlined the importance of the tender, which constitutes an "important milestone in the Angolan oil history", for wanting to promote the return of the massive onshore activity, but for marking the entrance of many new players.
"We are pleased with the participation of national companies, some of them already operating and well established in our market, such as Somoil, Sonangol, and others whose experience has been at the level of service provision, and today venture into exploration and production activity with much legitimacy," he stressed.