GlobalData’s latest report, ‘H2 2021 Global Bid Round Outlook – Licensing Rounds in 2021 Remain Low Due to the Impact of COVID-19, Although Expectations have Grown for the Coming Years,’ indicates that in H2 2021, 16 licensing rounds are expected to close by the end of the year.

Asia is hosting the largest number of licensing rounds in H2 2021 with six, followed by South America with three.

Among the closing soon bid rounds (rounds that are scheduled to close before August 15, 2021), the Petronas Licensing Round 2021 (MBR 2021), being hosted by Malaysia offers the largest volume of acreage of 96,849km² set to close in H2 2021. It is followed by International Bid Round 2021 in Malaysia with an acreage of 66,908km². Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy (HELP) – OALP Bid Round-VI in India and 2021 Direct Proposal Tender Phase I in Indonesia follow with an acreage of 22,205km² and 14,302km².

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the licensing activity in 2020, with many rounds being cancelled or extended. Similarly, licensing rounds in 2021 have greatly affected, with the number of rounds remaining very low. However, the boosted hydrocarbon demand due to the stabilisation of the pandemic and the expansion of various Covid-19 vaccination programs across the world have increased the expectations for a renewed licensing interest over the following years.