Petrobras is analyzing the sale of 98 fields (95 onshore and 3 in shallow waters), as well as six onshore exploratory blocks situated in five states. Petrobras’ strategy, that is part of its divestment plan named “Projeto Topázio” and encompasses areas with 257.3 million of 3P reserves (possible). The package that Petrobras is now testing to the market intends to sell 100% of its participation on all areas. Other fields that are currently operated by Sonangol, Partex and Petrogal will also be offered, along with blocks in partnership with Cowan. (03/04/2016)
The O&G secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Energy (“MME”), Mr. Marco Antonio Martins Almeida, attended the UK Energy 2016, held on March 8, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, and informed that the federal government intends to hold in 2017 a bid regarding only unitized areas in the Campos and Santos basins. He also mentioned that a work group coordinated by the secretary is currently studying the procedures for the implementation of the bid. After such study, the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (“ANP”) will be authorized to hold the bid. (03/08/2016)
On March 9, the federal government disclosed the package that intends to boost the Brazilian oil sector. The ordinance number 2 of the National Council of Energy Policy (“CNPE”) authorizes the renewal of Round Zero agreements for new periods up to 27 years; thus, the agreement may extend up to 2052, depending on the case. The renewal will only be applicable to fields with a viable production extension. The ANP will notify all companies and the operators will have to submit a new development plan for the projects, appointing the investments that will be made. The company may lose the extension should the investments are not done. (03/09/2016)
On March 21, the judge of the 11th Public Treasury Division of the Rio de Janeiro’ Court, Mr. João Luiz Amorim Franco, granted an injunction determining the unenforceability of the Rio de Janeiro State Law No. 7,183, that formalizes the ICMS’ charge over operations of oil and gas circulation. The judicial instrument was granted to Shell, Statoil, BG, Repsol Sinopec, Petrogal and Chevron. Those are the same oil companies that, on March 18th, attained the same benefit for the Rio de Janeiro State Law No. 7,182 which sets forth the creation of control, monitoring and inspection on the amount of one fiscal reference unit (“UFIR”) for each produced barrel of oil equivalent. (03/21/2016)
The project that establishes the end of Petrobras’ mandatory sole operatorship in the pre-salt may be voted in the House of Representatives’ plenary on May 31 or June 1, according to the Special Commission’s activities schedule. For further hearings, the commission will count with oil industry’s representatives and professors. Until the vote, the parliamentarians will discuss international experiences on the bidding of exploratory areas under the concession and production sharing regimes, besides the financial impact in the states and cities with reduction of pre-salt exploration. (03/23/2016)
The federal government is working on Libra’s pre-unitization agreement – first production sharing area in the Santos Basin. The first analysis indicates the possibility of two different areas that extend to the Union’s open acreage areas. When executed, Libra’s operation will be the fifth unitization agreement comprising an area located in the Santos Basin’s pre-salt and the first pre-unitization agreement. Until the current date, four individualization agreements were executed: Tartaruga Mestiça and Lula-Lula Sul (both with Petrobras), Massa (with Shell) and Sapinhoá (in Janurary). Besides Libra’s pre-unitization agreement, the PPSA also discuss the unitization of areas on Parque das Beleias, located in the Campos Basin. (03/28/2016)
The ANP suspended the 12th Bidding Round’s concession agreements in the Sergipe and Alagoas Basins after the enactment of a Federal Court’s decision that granted an injunction to the states’ prosecutor offices on a lawsuit against the use of hydraulic fracturing. According to the decision, the suspension shall remain in force until the conclusion of environmental impact studies and environmental evaluation of Sergipe-Alagoas’ sedimentary areas. In March, the agency approved the execution of a bid to contract a consulting company to proceed with the evaluation. This measure affects the agreements of 24 exploratory blocks operated by Petrobras (15 areas), Nova Petróleo (4), Trayectoria (TOG, 4) and Geopark (1). The areas totalize an investment obligation estimated by ANP on R$ 100 million to comply with the minimum exploratory program (PEM). (03/28/2016)
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.