New Brazilian licensing rounds announced

Brazil

The Brazilian National Council for Energy Policy (CNPE) recommended on 3rd September, and the President of the Brazilian Republic has subsequently approved, a 10th licensing round offering 162 onshore exploration blocks in mature sedimentary basins such as Potiguar, Recôncavo and Sergipe-Alagoas, as well as in the frontier basins of Amazonas, Araripe, Paraná, Pernambuco-Paraíba, Parecis and São Francisco.

It was decided not to offer any offshore acreage in this licensing round despite earlier indications that some shallow water blocks may be on offer.  The Brazilian Government explained that sufficient offshore blocks were already under licence and that operators such as Petrobras were having difficulty exploring them because of constraints in the local market for offshore equipment.

The Government has also announced a 3rd licensing round for marginal fields in which it will offer 19 dormant discoveries in the Recôncavo basin.

Further details of the bidding procedures will be set out in an edict (“edital”) of the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) following a public consultation.  However, the procedures are unlikely to depart significantly from those used in the 9th licensing round and the 2nd licensing round for marginal fields and the same local content rules shall be applied.  Potential bidders will be required to purchase seismic data packages, pre-qualify and submit bids to the Government in person in December 2008.

Further information is available on the ANP website and interested parties should consider participating in the public consultation that will follow publication of a draft edict and provisional timetable by the ANP.