The third auction of oil exploration rights in Brazil’s offshore pre-salt area has attracted 15 potential bidding companies, according to Reuters.
Brazil’s oil regulator ANP said the firms have preregistered for the October 27 auction. And 10 others have expressed interest in the second round of auctions which will be held on the same day.
The 15 firms will be able to bid on eight blocks in the Santos and Campos basins in the pre-salt, a resource-rich area where hydrocarbons are trapped under thick layers of salt beneath the ocean floor.
State oil firm Petrobras has preferential rights on three of the prospects that will be going under the hammer.
Those rights mean Petrobras could take at least a 30 percent stake in the prospects and share them with whichever consortium offers the government the most oil in exchange for the block.
Also Royal Dutch Shell announced in a release that last week it formed a deepwater partnership with Petrobras focused on developing Brazilian pre-salt fields.
Under the partnership the companies will share knowledge and expertise.
The agreement is valid for five years and can be renewed, according to the release.
Shell has minority interests in the Libra and Lula fields as well as stakes in areas such as the Santos Basin’s Sapinhoa, Lapa, and Iara fields.