Zambia to issue oil, gas exploration licenses this year
Saturday, July 24, 2021 5:41 AM

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LUSAKA, Jul. 24, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency) -- The Zambian government will commence the issuance of licenses to companies awarded blocks for oil and gas exploration before the end of this year, a senior government official has said.

The move involves a total of eight companies including four local firms. They participated in the initial bidding process for 23 blocks, resulting in the awarding of 11 blocks to seven companies.

"The Petroleum Committee will in the near future license the companies that were awarded blocks for them to commence exploration before the end of the dry season this year to this important economic venture further," the Post of Zambia quoted Mines and Minerals Development Minister Maxwell Mwalethe as saying on Saturday.

"The committee will also finalize petroleum regulations for the effective monitoring and regulation of the sector," Mwale said.

The Zambian minister said the government was strategizing on ways of making oil and gas exploration a viable economic venture, adding that it was difficult to attract investment in the sector because it was a frontier country.

"Zambia is a frontier country when it comes to gas and oil exploration. As a frontier country, it is difficult to attract investment in the sector. However, once the exploration companies start getting positive petroleum results, we are going to witness an influx of petroleum exploration companies and investment in the sector," he said.

In his opinion, positive results from oil and gas exploration may not immediately be visible, but the country's leadership has the responsibility to manage expectations from the sector.

The government, he said, had adopted a proactive approach in addressing the possible environmental effects of oil and gas exploration by developing a strategic environmental assessment.



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