Zambian Government Looks to Revoke Oil Licenses

Zambian Government Looks to Revoke Oil Licenses

After meeting and agreeing on the disbursement of more promising exploration licenses, Zambia’s government will move forward in opening stagnant exploration blocs by revoking 17 petroleum licenses, Times of Zambia reported.

Investors backing these projects were initially issued licenses in 2006 and have not since proceeded with oil and gas exploration. In the eyes of the government, investors lack the know-how and “financial capacity” to move forward, which puts a hold on progress within the country’s oil sector.

December 2, 2013, the Energy, Mines and Water Development Ministry awarded Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, Dharmattan Exploration production services ltd. and Troisade Energy Limited — along with two foreign firms — a total of nine exploration licenses. Of these five companies, three will begin exploration within the next three months. Altogether, 31 blocs are available for licensing, according to Times of Zambia.

“We are disappointed with owners of these licenses who have no technical know-how and do not know how best to proceed with their respective projects. Basically they are holding on to those licenses for speculation and now we will move in to repossess them,” Christopher Yaluma, Zambia’s Energy, Mines and Water Development Minister said in the report.

Times of Zambia noted that other local companies, UK and China-based firms would be assigned additional exploration permissions taking over eight blocs.

“I am sure that the companies awarded licenses today will not disappoint us but that, they will do their best to explore the oil potential of this country,” Yaluma added.

According to Times of Zambia, the government has assured stakeholders that the newly issued licenses will be used for the betterment of the country’s oil sector. In addition, a fee of $30,000 was collected from “interested” oil firms.