ANP gains dynamism to offer oil and gas exploration areas, says director


Thursday, June 8, 2017

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Reuters) – Brazil will become more agile and dynamic in offering areas for oil and gas exploration and production, based on a new policy approved Thursday by the government, fostering mainly the activity of small and medium-sized companies, Décio Oddone, director general of the National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP), told Reuters.

At a meeting held on Thursday, the National Energy Policy Council (CNPE) allowed the ANP to permanently offer exploration areas that have already been tendered and have not been auctioned, or have been returned to government by companies.

“It’s a very important decision that brings dynamism and agility to the ANP’s performance,” Oddone said in a telephone interview.

From now on, the ANP must wait for the decision to be published in the Official Gazette (DOU) to begin regulating the rules for the provision of areas.

Oddone explained, however, that the mechanism should be very similar to what is now applied to rounds of marginal areas: the ANP publishes areas with technical information on the Internet and awaits the manifestation of business interest.

After that, the agency sets a date for the auction. But with the new CNPE endorsement, the process will be faster, as the bidding areas and the auction itself will not need to pass federal approval, as it does today.

“The idea is to take areas for auction in waves … This will be very important, especially for small and medium-sized companies,” said Oddone.

However, according to the decision of the CNPE, no areas will be included in the pre-salt polygon and those considered strategic under the law that governs exploitation under a production sharing regime in Brazil.

The permanent supply of exploration areas was one of the measures included in the new exploration and production policy in Brazil, which seeks to attract investments to the country and whose guidelines were approved by CNPE on Thursday.

(By Marta Nogueira)

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