Brazil sets date for new pre-salt bid round using open door nomination

(U) The Brazilian National Petroleum Agency (ANP) has set a date for 16 December to receive proposals in the country’s first auction featuring pre-salt acreage under the so-called permanent offer initiative.

In a meeting held on 16 August, the regulator has approved the calendar for the upcoming bid round.

According to the proposed timeline, companies must submit all documents and pay a participation fee by 24 August.

There are 11 areas potentially available for bidding in the Campos and Santos basins – Agata, Agua Marinha, Bumerangue, Cruzeiro do Sul, Esmeralda, Itaimbezinho, Jade, North of Brava, Southwest of Sagitario, Tupinamba and Turmalina.

Brazilian state-controlled company Petrobras has already exercised preferential bidding rights to secure operating stakes, under production sharing contracts (PSC), for Agua Marinha and North of Brava, with a minimum 30% equity.

Other companies can submit new expressions of interest for the remaining nine areas by 10 October. The ANP will disclose the tracts that will be available for bidding at the auction on 25 October.

Besides Petrobras, seven other operators have been qualified so far to participate in the round, including Chevron, BP, Shell, TotalEnergies, Petronas, China National Offshore Oil Corporation and China National Oil & Gas Exploration & Development Company.

The ANP is presently reviewing applications submitted by other companies and is expected to update the list in the next few days.

Created in 2017 as part of an extensive review of Brazil’s upstream sector, the permanent offer was designed to continue making acreage available on an open door basis to generate more interest in the country’s oil and gas sector.

Instead of waiting for the government to nominate areas in formal bid rounds, the mechanism allows companies to pinpoint areas of interest, onshore and offshore building up enough interest to call an auction.

The ANP has hosted in the past three bid rounds in the permanent offer under the more market-friendly concession regime.

Under Brazilian law all blocks located in the area demarcated as the pre-salt polygon must be offered as PSCs under a competitive bidding format.

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