Brazil To Make Exploration Licensing Rules More Accommodating

Brazil's 5th annual exploration & production licensing round will allow oil companies to define the size of the block for oil exploration and production, according to a spokesperson from ANP. The new, more flexible scheme, used by most other countries with oil reserves, is expected to lure more companies, especially medium-sized and local firms. In sales since the 1998 opening of Brazil's oil market for foreign and private local companies, the ANP defined the size of the blocks. The agency is also evaluating possible half-yearly auctions starting from 2004.

An announcement will be made in October detailing which blocks will be offered in the June 2003 licensing round. A roadshow is being planned for November. The following basins had already been chosen: Pelotas, Santos, Campos, Espirito Santo, Jequitinhonha, Reconcavo, Potiguar, Barreirinha and Foz do Amazonas. In the 2002 licensing round Brazil sold only 21 out of 54 blocks on offer.