Peter Howard Wertheim
RIO DE JANEIRO, June 7 -- Brazil's National Council for Energy Policies (CNPE) at a recent meeting advanced the National Petroleum Agency's (ANP) eighth round of exploration and production bids to Aug. 28 from the previously scheduled Nov. 27-29.
CNPE also changed areas being offered, removing exploratory blocks in the Cumuruxatiba, Foz do Amazonas (Mouth of the Amazon), and Pelotas basins. It settled on 1,153 blocks to be offered in 15 basins, down from 18.
Although no official reason was given for the date change, the Bolivian crisis was considered instrumental, and CNPE thought interested bidders could run out of budgeted funds by yearend. Brazil's Minister of Mines and Energy Silas Rondeau had proposed the auction during a previous Council meeting.
The expected availability of environmental licenses influenced some changes in the numbers and locations of blocks, and environmental questions are expected to affect additional changes.