Producing for more than 40 years, the Campos Basin has been declining in recent years and has lost its position as the largest oil producing region to the neighboring Santos Basin. A study by the Brazilian Petroleum Institute (IBP) on the auctions of 2017 and 2018 shows, however, that Campos is back in the limelight and will concentrate investments of at least R $ 2.15 billion in exploration in the next five years.
The commitments made by the companies in the latest rounds make Campos the main destination for oil exploration activities. In the 2017 and 2018 rounds, the companies also committed to invest R $ 1.94 billion in the Santos Basin and R $ 480 million in the other regions. These amounts are part of the minimum exploratory programs and nothing prevents the investments in the areas acquired are even greater.
The tendency is for the activities in the Campos Basin to be captained by Petrobras. Of the 20 blocks located in the basin that were traded in the last auctions, the state-owned company operates 11, followed by ExxonMobil (four), BP (two), Repsol (two) and Shell (one).
Alongside the Santos Basin, the expectation is that Campos will return to the center of attention of the companies in the rounds of this year. The two basins attracted R $ 27.6 billion in investment in the last two years, in signing bonuses, and are again the main asset of the 2019 bids, the 16th round of concessions and the sixth round of pre-salt sharing. The government also hopes to promote the auction of the surplus from the Assignment of Rights contract in 2019.
Campos and Santos are the highlights of the 16th round, which will also offer areas in the Camamu-Almada, Pernambuco-Paraíba and Jacuípe Basins. The tender will offer 17 exploratory blocks of Campos and 13 areas in Santos, all of them in deep or ultra deep waters.
Campos was the region that most attracted the interest of the companies in the last auctions. Altogether, 20 of the 23 areas of the basin offered in the last two years were sold. Assets located in deep and ultra-deep waters of Santos also stood out: 13 of the 30 areas located in the region were traded.
The 16th round also marks the return of the Jacuípe and Camamu-Almada basins to the auctions, after four years. Pernambuco-Paraíba has returned to rounds after six years. In the 11th round, in 2013, four of the ten blocks offered in the region were sold off.
Main assets of the 16th round, Campos and Santos will also be in the spotlight of the 6th round of sharing and bidding for surpluses of the Assignment of rights. Both rounds will offer areas located only in these two basins.