Equatorial Guinea's Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons has extended the official closing date of the EG Ronda Licensing Round up to 28 April.

The government intends to give all interested companies more time to participate in the bidding process.

Equatorial Guinea Mines and Hydrocarbons Minister Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima said: “We can see that the industry as a whole is turning the corner and that the appetite for exploration is greater starting 2017 than it was last year.

“There is more stability and predictability in the market right now, which we can see is increasing investor confidence.”

The government will announce the successful bidders on 5 June at the Africa Oil & Power conference, which will be held in Cape Town. The bidding opened in June last year.

The ministry also expects to enter new production sharing contracts on 15 September and ratify them by the end of this year.

"There is more stability and predictability in the market right now, which we can see is increasing investor confidence."

Equatorial Guinea intends to attract new international companies to explore its offshore region.

In total, the country is offering 37 blocks, with 32 located offshore, reported Oedigital.com.

Last month, the country also expressed its interest to join the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

In addition, Equatorial Guinea has pledged to reduce its oil production by 12,000bpd to exhibit its demonstrate its commitment to ending the global oil oversupply and become a contributing member of OPEC.