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Web Alert: Brazil announces new oil & gas bidding rounds

11 December 2017

Brazil’s National Energy Policy Council (CNPE) approved the fourth bidding round of the pre-salt area which is planned for 7 June 2018 and the fifteenth bidding round under the concession regime which is scheduled for 29 March 2018.

The pre-salt area is one of the most important discoveries of oil and natural gas in recent years. The reserves are composed of large accumulation of light oil, which is of excellent quality, in very deep waters.

Under the fourth pre-salt bidding round, five blocks located in the Santos and Campos basins will be offered i.e. Tres Marias, Dous Irmaos, Uirapuru, Saturno and Itaimbezinho. Under the current legislation, Petrobras has 30 days after publication of the CNPE resolution to exercise its right of first refusal to participate as the operator. Should Petrobras exercise this right, it has to indicate which blocks in which it is interested and its participating interest, which cannot be less than 30%.

The first pre-salt bidding round for the Libra field held in 2013 were awarded to a consortium formed by Petrobras as operator(40%), Shell (20%), Total (20%), CNOOC (10%) and CNPC (10%). 

The second and third pre-salt bidding rounds, which offered eight blocks in the Campos and Santos basins, were held on 27 October 2017.. Petrobras is leading the consortia and is the operator of three blocks; whilst Shell is the operator of two fields (the Sul de Gato do Mato field with Total and Alto de Cabo Frio Oeste with CNOOC and Qatar Petroleum) whereas Statoil was awarded the Norte de Carcara block in a consortium with Petrogral and Exxon Mobil. Two of the blocks received no bids.

70 blocks will be offered in the fifteenth bidding round under the concession regime. 49 blocks will be in the offshore basins of Ceara, Potiguar, Sergipe-Alagoas, Campos and Santos, including two blocks next to Saturno. The remaining 21 blocks are located onshore in Parana and Parnaiba.