Algeria to Offer Onshore Oil, Gas Blocks to Companies Next Year

Algeria, holder of Africa’s fourth-largest crude reserves, plans to invite bids from international energy companies for oil and gas blocks in the first two months of next year.

The bidding round will take place under the terms of a proposed hydrocarbons law that is to be ratified before the end of the year, Khelil Ouahmed, director of gas affairs at the state hydrocarbons regulator Alnaft, said today in an interview in Algiers. The nation awarded two out of 10 permits offered in a previous round in March 2011.

“The last bid did not yield good results,” Ouahmed said. “So we spoke to the foreign companies and they said there were technical and economic problems as well as problems related to rights.”

The new law helps guarantee the profitability of investments and links taxes to the size of the discovery, he said.