Brazil Advances in the Shale Game

Brazil, which has dazzled the world with the discovery of billions of barrels of pre-salt oil, has now moved into the shale game that has revolutionized the United States – despite the fact that the 12th tender Nov. 28 did not attract many companies. Winning bidders included 10 power firms.

Petrobras, Brazil’s state controlled oil giant grabbed the lion’s share of the acreage buying 49 of the 72 oil and natural-gas exploration blocks that received bids, according to the National Petroleum Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANP). Petrobras retained operatorship over 43 blocks.

In Parana basin, a consortium formed by São Paulo State’s giant power utility Copel and local oil and gas players Petra Energia, Bayar, and Tucuman won four blocks.

In Reconcavo basin, France's electricity group GDF Suez won participation in two consortia in six blocks. In the first consortium (which won five blocks), the French company teamed up with Petrobras and local Ouro Preto. In the second consortium, GDF Suez's partnered again with Petrobras and Cowan Petroleo e Gas, which are also Brazilian.

The auction, originally planned to continue two days, ended in only three hours. ANP offered 240 onshore blocks, located in Acre, Parecis, Sao Francisco, Parana, Parnaiba, Reconcavo and Sergipe-Alagoas sedimentary basins.

Other winning bidders were: Alvopetro, Colombia; Bayar; Companhia Paranaense de Energia, Brazil; Geopark; Nova Petróleo; Petra Energia; and Trayectoria.

Shale deposits exceed Brazil’s pre-salt gas reserves, ANP head Magda Chambriard said. Brazil also holds other types of unconventional gas, such as so-called tight sands and carbon gas, according to the ANP.


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