Going, going, gone! After months of hype, excitement, protests, and lawsuits, Brazil finally auctioned off its biggest ever oil discovery on Monday – the Libra field.
‘Auction’, however, is perhaps a misleading term. There was only one bidder – a consortium made up of Brazil’s state-run Petrobras (40%), Anglo-Dutch Shell (20%), France’s Total (20%), and China’s CNPC (10%) and CNOOC (10%).
Brazil’s oil industry has not been the source of much good news recently but this week might just go down as one of its best yet.
On Monday, the country’s state-run giant Petrobras managed to raise $11bn in the biggest emerging markets bond issue ever. Then on Tuesday the country pulled in a record R$2.8bn ($1.4bn) in its first auction of licences for oil exploration blocks in five years.
After five years of legal battles, rumours and empty promises it’s finally happening: Brazil is auctioning off its oil blocks.
The country’s energy minister, Edison Lobão, told reporters on Thursday that the so-called 11th round of 172 onshore and offshore blocks would be held in May, or even earlier if possible.
Brazil’s government came out with the long-awaited announcement on Tuesday that it would auction another round of oil exploration rights next year.
Most importantly, there will be two auctions, energy minister Edison Lobao said. A first round of 174 blocks, many of which are expected to be in the Equatorial Margin, a potentially interesting new offshore area in the country’s north, near the mouth of the Amazon River. This will be offered under the country’s oil concession law that allows the successful bidder to operate the field.