Brazil to lure private oil companies

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Brazil's oil and gas regulator ANP is working to attract oil companies to enhance the recovery factor of mature fields.

The recovery factor corresponds to the percentage of hydrocarbons produced from a given field's declared total oil and gas reserves.

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Brazil's current average recovery factor is around 20%, significantly lower than that of Norway (35%).

"Despite Norway's favorable conditions (shallow water depth, light oil etc.), it is undeniable that Brazil could go beyond," ANP remarked in its latest report about opportunities in Brazil's O&G market.

One measure the government adopted to increase the recovery factor was a resolution in 2017 on the cession of rights of fields where operators are no longer investing the resources necessary to maximize the recovery of existing reserves.

Another initiative underway is a regulation for reserve based lending, which involves financing backed by oil reserves.

"Companies will be allowed to use the remaining reserves of mature fields as a guarantee to obtain financing for their activities in Brazil," the watchdog explained.

A mechanism frequently adopted in the US, reserve based lending has already been included as an option for licensing contracts of assets acquired in Brazil's 14th bidding round, held September last year, ANP highlighted.

The regulator is also authorizing the extension of concession contracts of producing fields as a means to extend their life. It is also analyzing the reduction of royalty percentages charged for surplus output.


ANP estimates that exploration licenses to be offered with some measures recently put into effect, such as flexibilization of local content rules, are expected to unlock 845bn reais (US$260bn) in investments to develop local oil and production over the next decade.