Petrobras reports onshore, offshore oil and gas finds

Eric Watkins
Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 5 -- Brazil's Petroleo Brasilerio SA (Petrobras) reported traces of oil onshore and an offshore natural gas discovery, according to a filing with the country's hydrocarbons regulator, Agencia Nacional do Petroleo (ANP).

Petrobras told ANP it had discovered traces of oil on onshore BT-POT-9 block in the Potiguar basin. It also reported finding gas in 60 m of water on BM-ES-5 block in the Espirito Santo basin.

Petrobras's announcements coincided with reports that ANP has qualified 47 companies to participate in the country's 10th round auction for exploration and production concessions.

The auction, which will feature concessions for only inland exploration and production blocks, is scheduled for Dec. 18-19 in Rio de Janeiro, with 30 Brazilian companies and 17 foreign companies qualified to bid.

Among the qualifiers were domestic firms Petrobras and OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes SA, along with international firms Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Devon Energy Corp., Hess Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and BP PLC. ANP also approved Angola's Sonangol and Portugal's Petrogal.

ANP will auction 130 E&P blocks in seven onshore sedimentary basins, while offshore blocks in the promising subsalt region have been removed from concession auctions until the country's new regulatory model is confirmed.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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