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Gabon's licensing round in limbo

Bidders are awaiting clarification on implementation of a new hydrocarbons code

Gabon has postponed the closing date for its current offshore licensing round twice since its launch, as uncertainty surrounds the introduction of a proposed new hydrocarbons code-and the health of the country's president, who has been recuperating abroad from a stroke. The round, which covers 34 deep and ultra-deep-water blocks, was launched last November, with a closing deadline set for April. However, this was first pushed back to June and then 30 September. Both the licensing round and the hydrocarbons code were detailed at last year's Africa Oil Week in Cape Town. The revised code was welcomed by international oil companies (IOCs) because its terms were considerably more favourable to

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