By Nawa Mutumweno – Government has stipulated the fees and regulation for oil and gas exploration to facilitate the issuance of licences.
According to Mines and Minerals Development minister Maxwell Mwale, a statutory instrument (SI) was signed on Thursday, December 16, 2010 to allow companies that were selected to conduct exploration to proceed.
“I have signed a statutory instrument which prescribes the fees and regulations. This means that those mining firms that were chosen can now be issued with exploration licences,” he elaborated.
Seven firms were selected to undertake exploration of oil and gas within 23 blocks in five provinces. The companies are expected to set offices in Zambia to conform to the Petroleum Act of 2008 before they start exploring.
Actual exploration will only start around April 2011 after the rainy season.
Government selected seven companies from local and international firms. The local firms are Barotse Petroleum Company, Chat Milling Company and Majetu Limited while the foreign companies are Exile Resources of Canada, GB Petroleum of Britain, Glint Energy of America and Petrodel Resources of Britain.
This followed advertisements for sealed bids for oil and gas exploration licences in 23 blocks in North Western, Western, Southern, Eastern, Northern and Luapula provinces.