Oil Exploration Bidding in Brazil Brings Record Number of Companies

The Seventh Round of Bidding for the Exploration and Production of Petroleum and Natural Gas in Brazil, which began today, is setting a new record: 114 domestic and foreign companies qualified to bid for 1,134 exploratory blocs in 34 sectors of the country’s 14 sedimentary basins.

This is triple the average number of firms that participated in the previous rounds. Of this total, 44 are eligible for part A of the auction – exploratory blocs with risk potential – and 89 for part B – inactive areas with marginal deposits, so-called "marginal fields," in which petroleum and gas exist but in small quantities.

The numerical discrepancy is due to the fact that 19 companies are eligible for both parts A and B. The number of firms qualified for part A also surpasses the previous record of 42 firms enrolled in the Second and Third Rounds.

Of the 114 eligible companies, 24 are foreign, and 90, domestic. Of the firms eligible for part A of the Seventh Round, 20 are domestic, which represents a record participation by Brazilian companies in exploratory bloc auctions in the country.

Among the domestic firms, most are participating for the first time, alongside companies that already hold concessions. The foreign companies include major names in the sector, such as Exxon, Shell, Chevron, Amerada Hess, Devon, El Paso, Eni, Kerr-McGee, Repsol, and Total.

The Seventh Round of Bidding will continue through Thursday, October 20, in the Sheraton Hotel, in the south zone of Rio do Janeiro. The process is taking place under the auspices of Brazil’s National Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Biofuels Agency (ANP).

Agência Brasil


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