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Mogadishu (HAN) November 3.2016.Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. Somalia will launch its first hydrocarbon licensing round early next year targeting offshore blocks, a government official said on Tuesday.

Shallow water block concessions signed in 1988 by Shell and ExxonMobil are excluded from the new bid round, said Jamal Kassim Mursal, permanent secretary at the ministry of petroleum and mineral resources.

Spectrum Geo has provided updates on some of its latest frontier offshore seismic surveys.

A multi-client 2D survey offshore southern Somalia was completed this April and final processed results should be available shortly. The program was designed to complement 20,000 km (12,427 mi) of existing seismic acquired during 2014.

Offshore Gabon, the Direction Generale des Hydrocarbures awarded Spectrum exclusive rights to acquire 3D multi-client data over open blocks in water depths of less than 1,000 m (3,281 ft).

The first survey should get under way during the current quarter. The three areas are on trend with recent significant discoveries – pre-funding is in place from various oil companies.

A 10,400-km (6,462-mi) multi-client 2D survey over the offshore Amazonas and Para Maranhao basins, along the Equatorial Margin of Brazil, was completed in July, with final products set to be issued by year-end.

This was designed to tie five of Spectrum’s Northern Margin programs delivering a continuous dataset from the French Guyana border through the Potiguar basin.

During July Spectrum also started a 15,000-km (9,320-mi) multi-client 2D survey over the Santos and Campos basins, in partnership with BGP.

This is an outboard extension of Spectrum’s 2012 Santos Campos Phase 1 survey, and will tie other programs in the Santos, Campos and Espirito Santo basins, producing a continuous dataset covering the prolific presalt oil fields. Final products should be available in 2Q 2017. (Reporting by Wendell Roelf and Ed Stoddard; Editing by James Macharia)

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