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BRAZIL: Round 11 in Rio, Hot and Getting Hotter

Bottom Line: Rio’s 11th round of bidding for new concessions went down in an atmosphere of heavy competition, with Brazilian offshore acreage fast becoming some of the hottest oil and gas blocks out there thanks to some impressive pre-salt finds and developments.
 
Analysis: The National Petroleum Agency hosted the 11th round of oil concession bids in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 14 and 15 May. There was some very stiff competition for blocks in the Foz do Amazonas basin off the coast of Amapá state in northeastern Brazil. One deep-water concession here (FZA-M-57) garnered the single-highest bid of the event: $170.36 million from a joint BP, Total, and Petroleo Brasileiro SA proposal. Total will manage operations at the site. The final bill for bids by BP and Total was $306 million – just a fraction of the record $1.4 billion raised in this round of licensing. Brazil approved contracts for 142 of the 289 available blocks.

Licenses for blocks in the equatorial margin (including blocks in the Foz do Amazonas basin) were among the hottest. Investors were drawn to those sites because of rumored geographic similarities to fields off the coast of Ghana and the Ivory Coast where companies (including Total) report major oil discoveries. Total and Petrobras also partnered with Norway’s Statoil on a number of winning bids in the Foz do Amazonas basin near the border with French Guiana. ExxonMobil Corp. is returning to Brazil now as well,…




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