Third licensing round announced in Brazil

Brazil's National Petroleum Agency (ANP) will offer 53 blocks in the third licensing round for oil and gas exploration and production. The round is expected to take place in June 2001, ANP Executive Director David Zylbersztajn announced at the end of the 3-day Rio Oil & Gas Conference in Rio de Janeiro.


RIO DE JANEIRO�Brazil's National Petroleum Agency (ANP) will offer 53 blocks in the third licensing round for oil and gas exploration and production. The round is expected to take place in June 2001, ANP Executive Director David Zylbersztajn announced at the end of the 3-day Rio Oil & Gas Conference in Rio de Janeiro.

"This is a record number of blocks compared to the previous two auctions, when 27 and 23 areas were put up for bid respectively," pointed out the director. Blocks offered during the third round are located in 12 Brazilian sedimentary basins, 10 onshore and 43 offshore.

Most of the blocks are located in three of the most prolific basins: Santos, Campos, and Espirito Santo basins, where 34 blocks will be put up for tender.

Areas located in exploratory frontiers, such as the Par�aranh� Barreirinhas in Maranhao state and Jequitinhonha in Bahia state will also be offered.

Of the 43 offshore blocks, 12 are located in shallow waters with water depths of less than 400 m and 31 in deep waters and ultra deep waters of more than 3,000 m, where oil and gas production still presents a technological challenge.

The average size of the blocks in this third round is of 1,695 sq km, while in the first round the average size was 4,895 sq km and in the second round 2,577 sq km. "This gradual reduction in the size of blocks is due to greater knowledge obtained by the ANP through spec surveys," said Zylbersztajn.

The choice of the 53 blocks for this third bidding round were based on the knowledge of this data and upon suggestions made by some 70 international oil companies that contacted the ANP.

The road show for the third round will begin next November in Rio de Janeiro, followed by presentations in Perth, Singapore, London, Calgary, and Houston.

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