Brazil's 5th Licensing Round Off to Slow Start

Brazil's 5th Annual Licensing Round began slowly on Tuesday. No single block attracted more than one bid. This year's licensing round only has 11 authorized participants, compared to last year's auction which had 30 participants. The auction will last through Wednesday.

Petrobras has been the most active buyer. Newfield Exploration was awarded two blocks offshore Santos Basin early in the day. This year only Statoil, Maersk Oil & Gas and ExxonMobil were the only major oil companies attending.

Petrobras won 35 offshore blocks in the Santos, Jequitinhonha and Espirito Santo basins out of some 360 blocks offered so far, at a cost of about 16 million reais ($5.3 million). A Brazilian company, Aurizonia, won two onshore areas in the Potiguar basin. Campos Basin blocks are expected to draw more demand over the course of the auction.