Brazil’s national oil industry regulator has approved 14 companies to be bidders in next month’s round of auctions for oil rights both offshore and on land, according to Reuters.
The National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (initialized as ANP for its Portuguese-language name) included global industry heavyweights BP, ExxonMobil, Repsol, Petrobras, Shell and Total among the bidders accepted for the March 29 auction.
All told, 70 blocks will be on offer with a potential estimated total price of $1.5 billion but it is unlikely all will be sold.
ANP is a federal government agency related to the Ministry of Mines and Energy. As well as handling oil and gas tenders on the behalf of the Brazilian state it also monitors the sector and produces statistics on it.
A further auction is planned on June 7 and that will focus on the offshore subsalt area where vast quantities of hydrocarbons are said to be trapped in rocks beneath a thick salt layer below the ocean floor.