Brazil’s next open acreage round seen attracting big O&G players

Bnamericas Published: Monday, December 05, 2022
Brazil’s next open acreage round seen attracting big O&G players

Brazil’s next open acreage round is expected to attract the interest of federal oil firm Petrobras and international oil companies such as Shell, Equinor, TotalEnergies or Qatar Energy, Sofia Forestieri (pictured), upstream analyst at Rystad Energy, told BNamericas. 

Scheduled for December 16, the auction will offer 11 production sharing blocks in the pre-salt polygon deemed strategic by the government. The blocks are Ágata, Água Marinha, Esmeralda, Jade, Turmalina, Tupinambá, Itaimbezinho, Norte de Brava, Bumerangue, Cruzeiro do Sul and Sudoeste de Sagitário and are in the Campos and Santos basins. 

Nine companies have been qualified by watchdog ANP to participate in the tender: BP Energy, Chevron, Ecopetrol, Equinor, Petrobras, Petronas, Qatar Energy, Shell and TotalEnergies. 

According to Forestieri, other offshore exploration highlights include the Aram block and the Equatorial Margin, which is due to receive 50% of Petrobras’ 2023-27 US$6bn exploration capex, according to its new business plan. 

"The Equatorial Margin has a potential above 30Bb, and Petrobras plans a very robust exploration campaign for the region," she said. 

The first well, in the Morpho prospect, is planned for this month, but approval by environmental regulator Ibama remains pending. 

Another 15 wells are planned to be drilled by 2027 by Petrobras in the Equatorial Margin, which encompasses the Foz do Amazonas, Barreirinhas, Pará-Maranhão, Potiguar and Ceará basins. 

Regarding onshore, Forestieri said the blocks contracted at ANP’s 3rd open acreage round, held in April, are most attractive. 

Small and medium-sized firms like Imetame, Origem Energia, Eneva, 3R Petroleum, Geopark, Petro-Victory, CE Engenharia, Petroborn, Seacrest, NTF, Newo and ENP Ecossistemas acquired exploration assets in the tender. The assets are in the Recôncavo, Espírito Santo, Sergipe-Alagoas, Potiguar and Tucano Sul basins. 

"This should imply an increase in onshore exploration," Forestieri said.

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