ANP to Start Round 9 Licensing Studies

Brazil's national energy planning council CNPE has authorized hydrocarbons regulator ANP to start studies for the 9th hydrocarbons licensing round that will be held in 2007, the mines and energy ministry said in a statement.

"This is an important decision that will allow ANP not to lose time even though a final decision about round 9 has not been made by CNPE," a ministry spokesperson told BNamericas. ANP requested the authorization to start studies, the statement said.

ANP and the ministry must carry out legal and geological studies in preparation for Round 9, which likely will take place by end-June 2007. CNPE needs to approve the round, including the blocks to be offered, before ANP can go hold the auction. CNPE also decided to meet four times in 2007 instead of the two annual meetings, the statement said.

The meetings are scheduled for January 30, March 15, August 16 and December 10.

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