Brazil authorities make moves to extend some of Petrobras’ longstanding oilfield rights

Brazil’s government announced on Wednesday measures that could lead to extending Petrobras’ rights in some of its oldest oilfields, according to Reuters.

The moves will allow the scandal-plagued and hugely indebted state oil firm a degree of stability as it bids to lower its debt and improve its output.

The measures entail empowering oil regulator ANP to extend Petrobras’ rights at fields for which it has already held the concession for 27 years.

They will also bring clarity to so-called “reserve-sharing” or “oilfield unitization” situations where oil reserves extend across areas owned by different companies.

These muddied waters follow from 2010 changes to the nation’s oil law which led to greater state control of offshore fields in the Santos and Campos basins. This resulted in the stalling of oilfield development in certain areas.

When that logjam is broken, officials believe they will free up as much as $120bn worth of development sites, offshore and on land.

All told, the extension of Petrobras’ rights on fields dating back to 1988 (when it ceded its privileged monopoly position in the country) and the clarification of the unitization issue, could free up as much as $120bn worth of development sites, offshore and on land.


Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.


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