Brazil Approves 64 Companies to Bid on 11th Round of Oil Blocks

SAO PAULO - Brazil has approved 64 companies to bid in the 11th round of auctions of oil and natural-gas exploration blocks, the National Petroleum Agency, or ANP, said Monday.

That was a record, surpassing the previous number of 61 for the ninth round of auctions in 2007, the ANP said.

A total of 71 companies had submitted documentation to bid. Among the companies approved were Brazil's OGX Petroleo e Gas SA (OGX) and Petrobras; the Brazilian units of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Repsol SA and BP PLC, Chevron Corp. and Hess Corp.

The 11th round of auctions should raise more than $500 million in signing bonuses, ANP Director Magda Chambriard said in February.

The auctions will be held on May 14-15.

Jeff Fick in Rio de Janeiro contributed to this article.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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