The National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (“ANP”) and the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission (“CVM”) will celebrate a technical cooperation agreement aiming at exchanging information about the regulation and inspection of the activities performed by the oil and gas’ public-held corporations. The cooperation will enable the execution of procedures to evaluate the suitability and accuracy of the information disclosed by the companies regarding exploration and production activities. The agreement sets forth the exchange of information that ANP and CVM have common interest, such as statistical data, researches and studies, along with information related to the breach of corporate legislation or the verification of irregularities on the securities market. (08/03/2016)
The Environment Secretariat of the State of Minas Gerais (“Semad”) resumed the studies regarding the licensing of exploration activities and unconventional reserves in the state. The work group (created in 2014), was suspended after the Federal Government defined that the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (“Ibama”) should have participation on the projects’ licensing. However, the current understanding is that the Ibama shall act only in the development phase of the unconventional discoveries, that, in the State of Minas Gerais, are related to the potential production of tight gas in the São Francisco Basin. Therefore, it shall be necessary that Semad controls the exploration licensing. Due to the suspension of the work group in 2015, the deadlines for the studies’ conclusion were postponed and they shall now be finalized only in 2017. (08/05/2016)
The Municipal Council of the city of Arapongas, State of Paraná, approved, in its first discussion, the Municipal Bill of Law No. 08/2016, that prohibits the licensing by the city hall for shale gas exploration executed by fracking. The Bill of Law also prohibits the execution of seismic tests, the water allocation for the fracturing of underground rocks and the traffic of trucks with chemical products. The Bill of Law shall now be submitted to a second discussion in the Municipal Council and, then, to approval by the Local Government. In the ANP’s 12th Concession Bid Round, that awarded onshore blocks with potential natural gas production, 16 blocks were acquired in the Paraná Basin (sectors Spar-CN and Spar-CS) – nine by Petrobras and seven by Petra Energia. In March, the ANP suspended the 12th Round’s concession agreements in the Sergipe and Alagoas Basin after the Federal Justice granted an injunction to Sergipe’s and Alagoas’ public attorney on the lawsuit against fracking. (08/10/2016)
Petrobras opened the technical data of Project Topázio, that aims to sell 98 fields, being 95 onshore and three on shallow waters, besides six onshore exploratory blocks. Although the bid was opened in March, no technical data was provided before the data room opening. The companies interested in the assets had the entire month of August to evaluate the information and the binding commercial proposals shall be submitted in September. (08/12/2016)
Petrobras opened the virtual data room of the sale of shallow waters’ fields in the Ceará and Sergipe Basins. The business, called Ártico Project, was organized in two parts, with a total of nine fields and is part of Petrobras’ disinvestment plan. In Sergipe, it includes Caioba, Camorim, Dourado, Guaricema and Tatuí fields, that, together, produces 1.5 thousand b/d in 27 wells. In Ceará, the package includes Atum, Curimã, Expada e Xaréu fields, that are currently producing around 5.4 thousand in 33 wells. However, the environmental issue may jeopardize the divestment. Petrobras has been facing troubles to attain the environmental licenses even to execute repairs in their shallow waters’ facilities. (08/15/2016)
The Federal Government will soon publish an ordinance form the National Council for Energy Policy (“CNPE”) with a list of the sectors that have been analyzed for the ANP’s 14th Concession Bid Round, that is already confirmed to be held in 2017’s first semester. The list includes a total of 28 sector, being 18 onshore and ten offshore and totaling more than 116 thousand km². The definitive list with the selected blocks to be auctioned in the ANP’s 14th Concession Bid Round shall only be published by the end of 2016, after the CNPE’s approval. The blocks totalize 48.84 thousand km² offshore and 67.19 thousand km² onshore. Depending on the market’s feedback, the final list may be reduced, as well as amended in order to include new blocks. The intention is to feel the oil and seismic companies’ reciprocity and interest in the defined sectors. (08/16/2016)
The Ministry of Transports, Ports and Civil Aviation has until September to submit to the Union Court of Auditors (“TCU”) an action plan to improve the monitoring and application of the Merchant Navy Fund’s resources (“FMM”). One of the recommendations is that, along with the financial agents, the Ministry should establish a technical study program regarding the naval sector and evaluations of the projects financed with the fund’s resources in order to analyze the FMM’s efficiency on the development of the Brazilian naval industry and fleet. (08/18/2016)
On August, 2016, the Senate’ Special Commission for National Development approved the Federal Bill of Law No. 52/2013 that unifies the regulatory agencies’ rules regarding their management, powers and social control. The Bill of Law, denominated Regulatory Agencies’ Law aims to guarantee the autonomy and grant more transparency to the agencies, as well as establish the actions to avoid the public sector’s interference. (08/18/2016)
On August 29th, 2016, the Açu Port’s oil terminal, in city of São João da Barra, State of Rio de Janeiro, performed its first transshipment operation. Currently, Shell is the only company that has a contract with Prumo to use the terminal, after Shell purchase BG. The Açu Port’s terminal is the only private enterprise in Brazil that executes oil transshipment operations. (08/29/2016)
The Federal Government studies the auction of areas that are part of the onerous assignment’ surplus, according to the Exploration and Production Policy’s Director of the Minister of Mines and Energy, Mr. José Botelho Neto, who attended in the workshop held on August 31st, by the Brazilian Petroleum Institute (“IBP”), in Rio de Janeiro. The evaluation is that the timing for Petrobras’ direct contract for the projects, that was executed when the oil barrel was around US$ 100, was lost. Therefore, the current hypothesis is to contract the projects as unitization areas. Furthermore, it is currently under analysis a bill of law to change the onerous assignment legislation, in order to allow Petrobras to attain partners for the projects. At the moment, Petrobras is obliged, by law, to execute all onerous assignment projects by itself. (08/31/2016)
Felsberg Advogados remains at your entire disposal for any clarifications that may be necessary in relation to the matters covered above. Should you have any further doubts, please contact Luis Menezes (firstname.lastname@example.org), our partner responsible for the Oil and Gas Department.
OIL AND GAS DEPARTMENT
This article is intended exclusively to provide information and does not contain any opinion, recommendation or legal advice from Felsberg Advogados in relation to the issues addressed.