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World’s Hottest Oil Auction Set To Bring In $50 Billion

Brazil’s next oil auction, scheduled for November, may be the best one yet, raking in as much as $50 billion in auction proceeds, Bloomberg sources familiar with the Brazilian government estimates said on Monday.

Licensing fees from Brazil’s November 7 oil auction was originally estimated at $25.5 billion, according to Reuters reports from the end of September—when Brazil was still working out the regulatory kinks to its massive oil auction.

The auction was set to offer up delicious presalt oil blocks that Brazil had originally given to state-run Petrobras, who was supposed to take 5 billion barrels from the fields there. Licenses to pump any extra oil from those blocks—and it appears that there is a lot extra—will now be offered up at this next transfer of rights auction. Estimates are that there are 15 billion barrels of oil left to be taken from the area.

90% of Brazil’s oil resources are found in deep waters, which require deep pockets to exploit. This certainly limits the number of suitors, but the prospects of these 15 billion barrels are appealing to the oil majors.

According to Bloomberg, energy titans including Exxon Mobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are interested parties in the auction, among others, with a total of 14 companies throwing their hat in the ring, including Petrobras.

Speaking of Petrobras, winning bidders will need to work out some payment arrangement with Petrobras, for investments that the state-run oil company has already made in this area. Brazil’s federal audit court, according to Bloomberg, estimates that these payments to Petrobras could add another $25 billion to $45 billion in costs for winning bidders.

Winning bidders will have 18 months after licensing award to reach an agreement with Petrobras before an energy regulator is called in to assist.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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