ANP to Auction 313 Blocks in Round 9

Brazil's hydrocarbons regulator ANP will offer 313 blocks in nine basins in its ninth hydrocarbons exploration licensing round on November 27-28, ANP director Haroldo Lima told reporters.

ANP will offer 153 offshore blocks in high-yield regions, 69 offshore and 29 onshore blocks in "new frontiers" as well as 62 onshore blocks in mature fields, Lima said.

Basins included in the round are: Campos, Santos, Espirito Santo, Para-Maranhão, Parnaiba, Pernambuco-Paraiba, Potiguar, Reconcavo and Rio do Peixe, totaling 98,000km2, Lima said.

"We took rather long in announcing the blocks because there was a problem with getting the environmental license for exploring the Rio do Peixe basin and we wanted to clear the risk of not getting this license," Lima told reporters.

But environmental protection agency Ibama granted the Rio do Peixe license late last week.

In a departure from previous rounds, ANP has cleared all environmental obstacles with Ibama, so winners will not have problems.

ANP also has dropped the rule that limits the number of areas a company can win in the bidding process.

But the rule stays in place that says companies must purchase a certain amount of services and equipment from companies based in Brazil.

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