The Jamaican Government has announced plans for another bidding round in the first quarter of 2010, Wednesday Business reported.

Jamaica’s Energy and Mining Minister James Robertson told local reporters that 19 open blocks would be offered in the new bidding round.

The island’s offshore region is divided into 31 blocks, 12 of which are already under licence. Interested parties will submit bids on the basis of a model contract, which will include production sharing contracts.

The selected company will search for the oil and will be expected to share it with Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, which is the agency of government responsible for developing the country’s petroleum resources.

Three groups of foreign companies are already immersed in the search under licence from the state.

The licence areas are believed to hold more gas than oil.