Décio Oddone, director general of the National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP), said on Friday that the permanent supply of areas should warm up the exploration dynamics in the land segment in the country in four to five years. “We expect that between four and five years we will have a more dynamic industry,” he told reporters in Rio.
Through the mechanism, the regulatory agency permanently makes available to the market a list of fields returned to the Union and exploratory blocks offered in previous and uncollected bids.
Oddone reinforced the intention of the ANP to include in the system of permanent supply blocks within the polygon of the pre-salt returned by oil companies or not contracted in auctions of the agency. According to him, initially the agency identified six areas to include them in the permanent offer.
The National Energy Policy Council (CNPE) has already endorsed the measure. The idea is that areas returned or not contracted within the pre-salt polygon can be returned to the market without being included in the large pre-salt auctions, as is the case today.
Oddone also said that the government of Jair Bolsonaro should be marked by the consolidation of the opening of the oil and gas market. “We have become accustomed to considering the oil and gas industry as being Petrobras. Petrobras has always been confused with Brazil, government, Brazilian society … With the liberal orientation of the new government this has to consolidate. For the first time a monopoly is being replaced by an industry. We need to extend this movement [from the opening of the exploration and production area] to the rest [refining and natural gas, for example], “he said.
According to him, the expectation is that the management profile of the company’s oil and gas area “will change little.” “It changes little, there is going to be a deepening of what we were doing,” he said, referring to the pro-market regulatory agenda initiated in the Michel Temer government.
Asked if he sees a threat to the independence of Petrobras’ management in the Bolsonaro administration, Oddone said that the state company operates independently and that the signs are that this independence “is being deepened.” Regarding possible interferences with the ANP, he said that he did not receive any requests for political appointments to the agency. “The ANP is independent, “he said.
Oddone said he believes that 2019 will be “a critical year” for the advancement of Petrobras divestitures in land and shallow water areas. In September last year, ANP officiated Petrobras forcing it to submit a list of oil and gas production fields with which it intends to stay and those it intends to sell and return to the Union. According to him, the list has already been presented by company.
With the measure, Petrobras will have three options for the future of these about 250 fields, Zero Round concessions. The first will be to continue with these areas and then present to the ANP a development plan with new investment commitments. The second is to return these blocks to the ANP. And the last is to tell the agency the interest in selling those assets.
The ANP then defines a deadline up to June of this year for the state company to complete the ongoing divestment processes. According to Oddone, Petrobras requested that the deadline be postponed. The request is still being analyzed by the agency, which does not rule out the possibility.
“The divestments were being conducted at the pleasure of Petrobras, following the interests of Petrobras, in Petrobras’ time. This is legitimate, but now it is no longer Petrobras that sets deadline for sale, “Oddone told reporters in Rio.