HOUSTON, May 3 (Reuters) – Brazil’s government is trying to add a 12th block to an auction of oil exploration areas expected later this year, an Energy Ministry official said on Tuesday at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston.
The Ametista block is located at the South border of the region known as the pre-salt and has promising potential for deepwater oil volumes, the Energy Ministry oil and gas executive-secretary Rafael Silva said during a panel session.
If included in the auction, which is likely, he said, Ametista will be licensed under a production sharing agreement. The block is south of the Equinor (EQNR.OL) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM.N) Bacalhau oil block. Seismic data shows potential for volumes above a thick layer of salt under the Atlantic seabed.
Brazil’s oil regulator, known as the ANP, is planning to put on permanent offer for the first time later this year exploration blocks in the pre-salt area. Eleven exploration and production areas have been already approved to be offered, ANP head Rodolfo Saboia said.
Unlike regular oil rounds in Brazil, blocks will be permanently available for companies interested in buying drilling rights, even if they do not receive a bid in the first day of listing.
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Reporting by Sabrina Valle; additional reporting by Arathy Somasehkar in Houston; editing by Richard Pullin
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