Correction: ANP Proposes Limits in Round 8

Below is the corrected version of the ANP story that originally ran on August 31.

Brazil's hydrocarbons regulator ANP has recommended the number of blocks that a single company can operate per basin be limited in the eighth exploration licensing round scheduled for November 28-29, according to ANP's draft bidding rules.

The restriction is designed to guarantee a single company does not control too much territory, allowing more companies to be present in each exploratory basin, an ANP spokesperson told BNamericas, confirming local press reports.

The decision comes after the country's energy planning council CNPE said 284 blocks in seven different basins would be offered at the eighth licensing round. The blocks are divided into 14 different sectors.

All 14 sectors have some kind of restriction. In the seventh exploration licensing round last year, 12 of the 34 sectors offered in 14 basins had restrictions.

According to draft bidding rules, a company cannot make offers as operator in more than three blocks for most of the subdivisions of each of the seven basins offered.

In one case, the same company cannot be operator in more than two blocks and in five cases the limit is four blocks.

Large oil companies such as federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) often bid as operator for blocks close to strategic areas in order to block the competition.

Petrobras likely will question the rules, news service Agência Estado reported.

According to ANP's schedule, data packages for the 284 blocks became available the week of August 28, with access costs varying from 15,000 reais (US$7,000) to as much as 150,000 reais.

ANP plans to publish final tender rules and concession contracts by October 13.

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