ANP Mulls Offering Pernambuco-Paraiba Basin Blocks in Round 8

Brazil's hydrocarbons regulator ANP is considering including in the eighth exploration licensing round next year blocks in the Pernambuco-Paraíba basin in the northeastern region of the country, where geological studies have indicated possible oil reserves, ANP said in a statement.

Brazilian geological services company HRT Petróleo was hired by ANP in 2005 to carry out the studies and has reported oil finds in deep and shallow-water offshore blocks, ANP said.

The decision to offer exploration licenses in the Pernambuco-Paraíba basin will be taken by national energy policy council CNPE, which usually meets to decide on the blocks to be included in the annual exploration tender several months beforehand. The eighth tender will likely be scheduled for October 2006.

According to a statement issued by the Pernambuco state government, there are indications of light crude in the basin but ANP said the quality of the oil and size of reserves would be determined by companies that eventually win exploration licenses.

None of the 581 exploration blocks ANP has awarded since the start of yearly tenders in 1998 have been in the in the Pernambuco-Paraíba basin.

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