ANP Wants to Spend US$94mn/y on Geological Research

Brazil's national hydrocarbons regulator ANP wants to invest 200mn reais (US$94mn) annually in geological and seismic research over the next five years, ANP's general director Haroldo Lima told reporters.

The spending plan is not yet final due to changes in the finance ministry and presidential elections. "Now we are revising our plan and should be presenting the it [to the ministry] soon," said Lima during a seminar on the eighth licensing round.

The budget would go beyond the 19mn reais a year that federal fiscal controls have allocated for ANP.

But according to Brazilian law, ANP has the right to 28% of the federal government's special participation revenues from the oil sector, amounting to some 2bn-2.5bn reais, said Lima.

"ANP would not know what to do with 2bn reais, but 19mn reais is too little for the country's needs," he said.


The fiscal measures have reduced ANP's capacity to carry out research in preparation for the annual licensing rounds. Some ANP officials have said there is not enough data available to guarantee more than a few years of rounds.

Brazil's 29 sedimentary basins have a total area of some 6.4M sq km, of which 4.7% has been explored while some 15,000 sq km of concessions are in production, mostly offshore, said ANP's director Nelson Narciso.

Most of the unknown basins are onshore, said Lima, pointing out that research of onshore basins could attract a lot of interest.

Jonas Fonseca, E&P director of the Brazilian petroleum institute (IBP), agreed. "Onshore research must be turned into a priority," he said at the seminar. "We need resources to do this."

In addition, increased data could encourage companies to pay more for exploration rights in Brazil, Lima said.

Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) last year paid a record entrance fee of 160mn reais while paying more than 1bn reais for an entrance fee in Angola, Lima said.

ANP has raised some 3.3bn reais in entrance fees since it opened up the country's oil market to private companies.

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