News from Rio Oil & Gas 2012: Industry welcomes approval of Brazil´s 11th licensing round
BY PRAMOD KULKARNI, Editor
RIO DE JANEIRO -- Oil and gas industry delegates to the Rio Oil & Gas conference were cheered by Brazil President Dilma Roussef´s approval of the country´s 11th licensing round scheduled for May 2013. Energy Minister Edison Labao announced in Brasilia that the first bid round since 2008 is contingent upon the Congress passing a new royalties law later this year. Disagreements over how royalties are divided among states has delayed passage of the law for several years.
ANP, Brazil´s national petroleum agency, will announce the date of the sale and specific details of the blocks to be auctioned in the coming days. About half of the blocks will be onshore and the remaining half will be offshore. A second auction for the pre-salt field off Brazil´s southeast coast could be held in November 2013, according to Minister Labao.
ANP has spent about $2.5 million in recent years for geophysical and geological studies of its 22 onshore basins with hydrocarbon potential with the hope of making the bid rounds attractive to prospective bidders. Elaine Petersohn, superintendent for ANP´s block definition department, made a detailed presentation of the current state of seismic and gravity-magnetic studies for the Paranaiba, Parecis, Sao Francisco, Parana and Acre basins.
Gas has been discovered in the Parnaiba basin, according to Petersohn. In earlier round, ANP has leased 20 blocks in the Sao Francisco basin. OGX is currently drilling in the basin and Shell is conducting seismic surveys. ANP´s data for the onshore and offshore blocks is in the public domain and can be accessed via www.anp.br.