Brazil to Prioritize NatGas in Round 9

Brazil's ninth hydrocarbons exploration round will focus on areas likely to contain new natural gas reserves, national hydrocarbons regulator ANP said in a statement.

National energy planning council CNPE authorized ANP to continue studies in preparation for this latest round. A bidding timetable has yet to be released.

The government will focus on gas to guarantee an increase in domestic supply in the face of increasing demand, ANP said. The same emphasis was placed in the eighth round in November 2006.

The government also wants ANP to offer areas in new frontier higher-risk areas to expand exploration in Brazil as well as areas in mature well-known basins to attract investments from smaller companies.

When court injunctions suspended the eighth round government, officials said at the time they planned to hold round nine by mid-2007.

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