Brazil will be offering blocks in nine basins in the 5th licensing round to be held in June of 2003. The blocks will be offered under a new, more flexible program that will allow bidders to define the size of the blocks by building them from smaller 'cells'. The ANP hopes to attract more independent exploration companies with this new arrangement. ANP will put up for sale licenses for 824 offshore 'cells' and 298 onshore units in a total of 21 sectors. The total area offered is 195,701 square kilometers. "The alterations are aimed to reduce the barriers for small and medium-sized companies that want to enter the Brazilian market, as well as allow better planning in the acquisition of geological and geophysical data," ANP head Sebastiao do Rego Barros said. "That will guarantee a better knowledge of the Brazilian sedimentary basins' potential."
The blocks will formally be presented to potential bidders on November 26th in Rio de Janeiro before embarking on roadshows in London and Houston. The basins chosen for the auction include Pelotas, Santos, Campos, Espirito Santo, Jequitinhonha, Reconcavo, Potiguar, Barreirinhas and Foz do Amazonas.