The president of the Brazilian Petroleum Institute (IBP), João Carlos França de Lucas, says that next year Brazil should hold a seventh round of tender offers for petroleum and gas exploration.
Calling the sector fundamental for domestic development, Lucas said it could not be left unexplored. But he emphasized the need for clear, stable and competitive rules so that companies would be able to invest in the sector with security.
“Investments in the petroleum sector are big ones that require long-term planning. They must have clearly defined rules that make the country attractive and competitive.
“State taxation of the sector not only makes production more expensive, it muddies the situation because investors have doubts about the rules and that is not good for the country,” declared Lucas.
It was announced in July that Petrobras would offer a total of US$ 3.66 billion in the 6th Round of Bidding for Petroleum and Gas Exploration, held by the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) in August, in Rio.
The amount represents 60 percent of the US$ 6.1 billion that Petrobras plans to spend on exploration and production activities in 2004. The information came from Petrobras’s press office.
Along or together with other companies, the state enterprise is competing for 295 blocks in the mature Espírito Santo, Recôncavo, and Potiguar basins and nine areas on the continent and 680 blocks in 29 offshore sectors in various Brazilian states, for a total of 975 blocks.
The company’s board of directors did not wish to comment on the Federation of Petroleum Workers’ (FUP) demand for an immediate suspension of the auction of the sedimentary basins returned to the ANP after Petrobras had spent substantial sums to survey the area’s geology.
Some of the Zero Round blocks were wholly returned by Petrobras and others, partially. As the company sees it, this was a governmental decision, beyond the company’s jurisdiction to question.
The Association of Petrobras Engineers (Aepet), for its part, supports the FUP grievance. The Association regards the investments made by Petrobras as grounds for continuing the work performed by the company in those areas in search of petroleum, informed the president of the entity, Heitor Pereira.
The ANP informed that policy for the sector is determined by the Ministry of Mines and Energy and that its role is only that of implementer.
Petrobras’s average production of petroleum and natural gas in domestic and foreign fields increased 1.7 percent in July, compared with June, and 1 percent, compared with July, 2003. Overall daily production averaged 2,059,443 barrels last month.
Domestic production totaled 1,792,356 barrels/day, 2 percent more than in June, but stable in comparison with July, 2003.
Domestic petroleum production alone accounted for 1,520,963 barrels/day, 1.9% more than in June. The explanation is that three new wells came on line recently, two in the South Marlin Field and one in the Bicudo Field, increasing daily production by 37.1 thousand barrels.
Despite the new wells, last month’s production fell 1.6 percent short of the figure for July, 2003.
In the eight foreign countries in which Petrobras operates, the volume of oil and natural gas produced in July was 267,087 barrels/day, 0.2 percent less than in June but 9.2 percent more than in July, 2003.