Deadline for Brazil's Licensing Round Draws Near

The deadline for bid bond submissions for 53 onshore and offshore blocks in 12 sedimentary basins offered in Brazil's third licensing closes on June 14, 2001. Awards for licenses are expected to be made on June 19th and 20th.

The National Petroleum Agency (ANP) set a minimum bid of $150,000 for 31 deepwater category A areas. The 14 shallow water category B areas have a base price of $100,000 and eight land-based category C areas have a minimum price of $50,000. Thirty-four of the blocks being offered are located in Santos, Campos and Espirito Santos which have been very productive. Sixteen of the blocks are located in deepwater areas in the Santos Basin, where Petrobras discovered an estimated 600 to 700 milliom barrels of light crude in the BS-500 block in October, 1999. Some of the acreage is located in three frontier areas: Para-Maranhao, Barreirinhas in Maranhao state and Jequitinhonha in Bahia state.

Preliminary ANP information indicates that 44 foreign oil companies have filed applications for acreage. According to ANP, Brazil's oil market regulator, since 1998 when exploration was opened to foreign companies, some 125 oil shows have been encountered during exporation probes.