A Bidding Frenzy for Angola's Oil

Record bids for drilling rights demonstrate the big bets oil companies are making to secure reserves of black gold

Just how wild is the bidding for good oil acreage these days? Very wild, going by a recent auction of acreage in the Congo Basin, off the coast of Angola. To land the licenses needed to explore three deepwater exploration tracts, oil companies offered to pay an astronomical $3.1 billion in signing bonuses, plus another $240 million in commitments for social projects in the impoverished African country.

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