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Equatorial Guinea Opens Oil Blocks, Says Exxon Still Wanted

  • Licensing round for 37 oil and gas blocks closes on Nov. 30
  • Exxon still wanted as operator, energy minister says
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Equatorial Guinea, which opened bidding for oil and gas exploration blocks Monday, said it wants Exxon Mobil Corp. to remain as an operator even after the government decided not to renew its license for the country’s highest-producing field.

The West African nation will accept bids for 37 blocks, of which 32 are offshore, until Nov. 30 and plans to award licenses in January, Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima said at a briefing in Cape Town. The government is still in negotiations with Exxon after it decided in October not to extend the company’s license to operate the Zafiro oil field, he said.