IBP Confident Round 9 Will Go Ahead This Year

The Brazilian Institute of Petroleum (IBP) believes energy planning council CNPE will clear the way for the ninth licensing round of oil and gas exploration areas, IBP general secretary Alvaro Teixeira said at the Brazil Offshore convention.

"If a positive decision is taken on Monday [Jun 25] by CNPE, we will have the ninth round in October or November," Teixeira told reporters on the sidelines of the convention being held in Macae, Rio de Janeiro state.

"Acting mines and energy minister Nelson Hubner assured [IBP president] Joao Carlos de Luca his ministry would work hard for a decision next week," said Teixeira.

In May, IBP directors and oil equipment and services industry association ONIP expressed their concern about a potential postponement of round nine to 2008.

"So far, Brazil has had seven very successful rounds. However, we are concerned as last year round eight was suspended, which caused uncertainty among foreign investors," Teixeira said.

"In spite of this, I believe the opening of Brazil's E&P market was successful, with the debut of so many companies in the country besides [Brazil's federal energy company] Petrobras [NYSE: PBR]," he said.

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