Brazil Wants More Areas with Natural Gas Potential in Round 8

Brazil's national energy planning council CNPE decided that the national hydrocarbons regulator ANP include in this year's eighth hydrocarbons licensing round more areas likely to contain gas reserves, the mines and energy ministry announced.

The CNPE said that ANP will have to increase by 30% the number of so-called gas-prone exploration blocks to be offered at the auction. CNPE also determined that the eighth round be brought forward to the end of August from November 27-29 when it was previously scheduled, the ministry said in a statement.

On May 2, the CNPE authorized the ANP to prepare round eight based on studies of 54 different sectors in eight sedimentary basins throughout the country.

These include the Espirito Santo, Santos and Campos basins thought to have good potential for hydrocarbon reserves, including natural gas reserves.

The eighth round will also include known onshore regions in these and other well-explored basins and will include the unexplored offshore basins of Curumuxatiba and Pernambuco-Paraíba in the country's northeastern region.

The decision to bring forward round eight and increase the likelihood of locating new gas reserves are part of series of measures announced last week to make Brazil self sufficient in natural gas in coming years in order to reduce the country's dependence on imported Bolivian gas.

The CNPE includes the mines and energy minister and other cabinet members.

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