Government says it has successfully approved the awarding of nine petroleum exploration licenses to five companies.
Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma has told a media briefing in Lusaka today that this follows the bidding round that was advertised in the media in May 2013.
Mr. Yaluma says in total thirty one oil blocks were advertised of which only nine have been awarded.
He has named the companies that have been awarded exploration licenses as Troisade Energy Limited, a Zambian owned company in partnership with Niger Delta Petroleum Resources,Dharmattan Exploration Limited,Bowleven Oil and Gas Zambia limited, a United Kingdom based company,Sogecoa Limited a Chinese company, SureStream Petroleum limited a United Kingdom based company and Rift Petroleum limited a subsidiary of a United Kingdom based company in partnership with a Zambian owned company Blue Square Oil and Gas limited.
And Mr. Yaluma says the companies are expected to commence exploration works within three months of being granted licenses.
He has also expressed confidence that the companies will not disappoint government but do their best to explore the oil potential of the country.