The results of Sonangol's leasing plans were a "disappointment," Welligence Energy Analytics reported. The company received bids on seven of the eight proposed blocks, but most of the 35 bids came from "small local players," it said. The proposed areas included "mature production and exploration options," Welligence said.
The most notable "regionally focused independent" participant was Afentra, Welligence said. The Tullow Oil alumni launched Afentra in May of this year. "The only really big player to bid was Sinopec."
Welligence noted Sonangol's financial difficulties and its ambitions for an IPO, which could take place in 2022.
"Access to financing is restricted, and the majors, which already have strong positions in the country, are allocating capital very carefully," Welligence said.
Sonangol offered blocks 3/05, 4/05, 5/06, 15/06, 18, 23, 27 and 31 in the process. It noted that 19 companies participated in the bid, of which seven acted individually and five consortia.
Trace International will conduct due diligence on the companies and then negotiations will begin. Sonangol expects this to last until November 8.
Look for opportunities
Afentra has proposed offers for Blocks 3/05 and 23. The company said it would structure a successful deal as a reverse takeover. It has suspended its shares until it makes progress.
Sinopec offered its bid via SSI 15, which already holds a 26.32% interest in Block 15/05, where Eni has made a number of discoveries. Sonangol bought a 15% stake in the block in 2014 from TotalEnergies for $750 million. It currently holds a 36.84% interest via Sonangol P&P.
MTI Energy of Canada also participated in the bid, targeting three areas, blocks 15/06, 18 and 31. The company has committed to work on six onshore blocks in Angola.
Namibia's state-owned Namcor has bid for five blocks, as part of a consortium that also includes Sequa Petroleum and local service company Petrolog.