Globally in Q4 2019, 39 licensing rounds are open with 25 scheduled to close in the quarter, according to a report by GlobalData entitled ‘Q4 2019 Global Bid Round Outlook – US Dominating Current & Upcoming Licensing Activity’

A total of 18 countries in nine regions are hosting 25 bid rounds scheduled to close during Q4 2019. The Angolan 2019 bid round offers the largest volume of acreage set to close this quarter.

Africa is hosting the largest volume of licensing rounds in Q4 2019. Eight countries in Africa are hosting one licensing round each, while North America is hosting seven rounds and Asia is hosting six. Heading into 2020 and beyond, North America has the most reported licensing activity planned.

Following the signing of an agreement between Australia and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste relating to the unitisation of the Sunrise and Trounadour Fields, the government of Timor-Leste has announced its second licensing round, which offers both onshore and offshore acreage. The round is the first to be held since 2005.

Although not all bid-acreage has been disclosed, the largest number of blocks available is located onshore, with the US (Alaska) offering a significant portion of this.

Q4 2019 closing bid rounds: blocks on offer by terrain

Source: Upstream Analytics, GlobalData Oil and Gas © GlobalData

Malaysia has launched its 2020 bidding round. The round offers four development opportunities and eight exploration blocks. Technical data and bidding documents can be viewed from January 2020.

Europe has four rounds closing this quarter. The UK’s 32nd Licensing Round and the Faroe Islands’ Fifth Licensing Round, which both offer acreage in the West of Shetland (WoS), are included in these closing rounds.

Against a backdrop of supermajor asset divestments, legacy field production declines and private equity funded asset acquisitions, the WoS area has increased production in the last four years and therefore increased in relevance to the remaining largest UKCS players.

Brazil announced the results of the 6th Production Sharing-Pre-Salt Round, its final bid round of the year. The round was disappointing, awarding only one block to Petrobras.