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Brazil's oil and gas watchdog ANP on Thursday disclosed the pre-tender and contract draft of the 15th exploration blocks bidding round, scheduled for 2018.
The pre-tender presents areas to be offered as well as the rules and proceedings and the preliminary schedule.
Currently, the documents go through public consultation which ends December 18, three days before the hearing session, to receive comments and suggestions.
The auction forms part of a busy oil and gas licensing schedule as the government seeks to jump-start investment in an industry battered by corruption and a three-and-a-half-year crude price slump. The mining and energy ministry has said it plans to stage nine rights auctions from 2017 to 2019 and a new six-year calendar is expected to be announced this month.
At two rights auctions in October ten of the world's biggest oil companies secured stakes in six pre-salt areas deep in the Atlantic, pledging combined signature bonuses of US$1.9bn and agreeing to hand the government up to 80% of future oil production.
"The launching of the pre-tender and contract draft of the 15th round is an important sign that the government is committed to holding successive auctions, which will assure the attraction of new investments and the resumption of the oil and gas sector," Sonia Agel, partner at Schmidt Valois law office told BNamericas.
The tender will see 70 blocks up for auction, 49 of them offshore, including assets in the Campos, Ceará, Potiguar, Sergipe-Alagoas and Santos basins, in addition to 21 areas in the Paraná and Parnaíba onshore basins.
Brazil's federal energy planning council has decided to alter the resolution (10/2017) that establishes the guidelines for the multi-annual licensing planning of blocks and fields for exploration and production of oil and gas. With the changes, areas containing marginal reservoirs supposed to be auctioned in the fifth and sixth marginal assets rounds will now be included in the permanent licensing regime.