ANP to Postpone 8th Round from August 28

Brazil's eighth hydrocarbon exploration licensing round will be postponed from August 28 to give officials more time to prepare the process, a spokesperson for hydrocarbon regulators (ANP) told BNamericas.

ANP has yet to announce a new schedule for the tender, the spokesperson said.

Two absences on the ANP directorship have overloaded the board, delaying debates that are needed to decide on issues such as tender rules.

Specifically, ANP planners must decide on complex issues such as requirements for local content and minimum investment levels. Planners also must analyze geological information about the blocks to be offered, the spokesperson said.

The government has named one new director, who must be ratified by the senate. The government needs to nominate the other, who would then need senate approval.

The federal government's national energy planning council CNPE in May asked ANP to bring forward the licensing round to end-August from late November in response to Bolivia's nationalization of hydrocarbons assets.

CNPE figured holding a new exploration round more focused on natural gas would show Brazil's government is keen on finding domestic gas supplies as an alternative to Bolivian gas.

But oil companies and industry groups have put pressure on ANP to delay the bidding, arguing the August 28 deadline would not allow them to study in detail all the necessary data to prepare a bid.

ANP head Haroldo Lima said the eighth round could not be held before October, news service Agencia Estado reported.

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