ANP Aims to Double Area in 8th Licensing Round

Brazil's hydrocarbons regulator ANP wants to double the area it offers in the eighth hydrocarbons licensing round, which likely will take place in November after presidential elections, Newton Monteiro, an ANP director, told BNamericas.

ANP wants to double the area to be offered to some 400,000 sq km from the 194,651 sq km offered in last year's seventh round, which included 1,134 blocks.

"We will offer areas that have good information so oil companies can decide whether to invest," he said. "This [400,000 sq km] is our suggestion, but I don't know what the government's final decision will be."

Monteiro expects the new date to be announced in coming days following approval by the national energy planning council (CNPE).

"The final decision [on the date] will be taken by the government, taking into consideration political and other issues," he said. "The eighth round could be in September but will probably be in November."

The government postponed the tender from August 28 since neither ANP nor oil companies had enough time to prepare.

Originally, the eighth round was due for end-November 2006 and was brought forward to show that the government was taking clear measures to increase domestic supply of natural gas in light of Bolivia's nationalization of hydrocarbons assets.

The new schedule, however, needs to take into account political issues such as the October presidential, congressional and gubernatorial elections.

ANP still needs to complete work on details of the tender rules, Monteiro said.

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