BOGOTA, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Twenty-seven companies are qualified to bid in Colombia's auction of 59 oil blocks, the national hydrocarbons agency (ANH) said on Thursday, including international producers like Noble Energy and Parex Resources.
Colombia hopes to sign 20 contracts as a result of the round, the head of the agency has said, bringing in some $800 million in potential investment.
Five of the offered blocks are offshore and 24 have potential for gas production, the ANH has said.
The areas are located throughout the Andean country but concentrated near its northern Caribbean coast and in its eastern plains.
In a list published on its website, the agency listed Noble and Parex among the qualified companies, which also include state-run Ecopetrol, Frontera Energy, Gran Tierra Energy, Occidental de Colombia, Hunt Overseas Oil Company, Amerisur Exploracion Colombia Limited , Mansarovar Energy and ONGC Videsh.
The auction is the country's second this year. Six companies won 11 contracts in the previous round, which the ANH said would generate some $500 million in investment.
Major global oil firms last week snubbed a second Brazilian oil auction in a row, passing up offshore blocks and forcing officials to reconsider a bidding system that gives a privileged position to state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA. (Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb Editing by Marguerita Choy)