Madagascar has postponed its oil exploration rights auction for 18 offshore blocks and two onshore blocks until 2010 due to the country’s political crisis.

A power-sharing agreement was signed in August by the four main political parties, after strong opposition caused the president to resign in March, but the top positions in the transitional government are yet to be decided.

Due to this delay, oil explorers have been granted a 12-month extension to meet their timelines to start drilling and other stipulations of their current licences, according to Bloomberg.

Oil exploration work is being conducted by 16 companies in 24 blocks in Madagascar, which has the potential to generate 200,000 barrels of crude a day by 2011, according to the nation’s oil agency.

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