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NEWSLETTER – JULY/2016


·         Simplified contracting for unitization areas

The government is evaluating how to simplify PPSA participation in smaller areas that are under unitization. According to the Oil and Gas’ Secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Energy (“MME”), Mr. Márcio Félix Bezerra, the purpose is to enable the PPSA directly negotiating its participation in the contracts, without the need to hold an auction. (07/05/2016)


·         PGR grants favorable opinion to the lawsuit against inspection tax

The Republic’s Attorney-General Office (“PGR”) is favorable to the injunction relief of the Direct Unconstitutionality Lawsuit (“Adin”) before the Federal Supreme Court (“STF”). Such Adin is against the oil and gas inspection tax enacted in the State of Rio de Janeiro and it was proposed by the Industry’s National Confederation (“CNI”), as requested by the Rio de Janeiro’s Industries Federation (“Firjan”). The law was enacted by the governor of the Rio de Janeiro State, Mr. Luiz Fernando Pezão, in the end of 2015 and increases the cost with the activities of control, monitoring and inspection of oil and gas’ research, extraction, exploration and production. (07/06/2016)


·         Bill of law regarding fracking’ suspension in Paraná attains favorable opinion

 

On July 6th, a bill of law that suspends for ten years the exploration of unconventional fields in Paraná attained a favorable opinion from the Constitution and Justice Committee of Paraná’s Legislative Assembly and, then, it will be analyzed by Industry, Commerce, Employment and Income Committee of such body. The Paraná Basin is appointed by the MME as one of the areas with shale gas in the country, besides the Parecis, Solimões, Amazonas and Parnaíba basins. Currently, a bill of law that suspends the unconventional exploration in the entire Brazilian territory for a period of five years is also being analyzed by the House of Representatives. (07/07/2016)


·           Special commission approves bill of law regarding the end of pre-salt’ sole operatorship

On July 7th, the Pre-Salt Special Commission approved the Bill of Law No. 4,567/2016, that excludes Petrobras’ mandatory participation in oil exploration in the pre-salt layer. The bill of law received 22 favorable and 5 contrary votes. Due to such result, that was analyzing the matter since March, the proposal will now be analyzed by the House of Representatives. (07/07/2016)


·          Production is suspended in the Brazilian northeast offshore

Petrobras decided to formalize the shutdown situation of several production units in the northeast offshore’ shallow waters. The oil company received authorization from the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (“ANP”) to suspend the activities in 15 platforms in the area and, currently, Petrobras is waiting for the authorization to suspend the production in other 9. From the 15 platforms authorized by ANP to suspend the production, 10 of them were not producing on the last 15 months; only three of them produced in April, according to the last data provided by the ANP. The ANP is observing the disinvestment that is being executed in the area. The agency determined that, in the event Petrobras does not sell the fields, it shall, on the next 12 months, restart the production or return the areas. (07/19/2016)


·          ANP approves local content waiver for seismic vessels

The ANP approved the waiver of local content commitment to the seismic vessels that operated in the country from January/2008 to December/2015. The agency recognized the absence of vessels built in Brazil. The waiver is valid only for charter agreements of foreign vessels and cannot be extended to manpower services agreement. In the cases that the companies already submitted the local content certificate of seismic services, the percentage of the charter vessel in relation to the seismic services’ total costs will be considered as national investments for purposes of calculation of the contract’s local content percentage. (07/19/2016)


·         ANP regulates the well profiles’ model

The ANP published its Ordinance 33/2016, that regulated the new model for the oil and natural gas’ comprised profile (ANP7). The ordinance sets forth the procedures to be adopted on the documents’ formatting and submission by the companies that drill exploratory wells. The comprised profile consists in a combination of columns and lines used to represent the profile curves, to codify the construed lithological column and to present other information. (07/22/2016)


·         Government will draft a new natural gas policy

The federal government will publish, in August, a public consultation for the development of policies for the Brazilian natural gas sector. The initial aim is to submit the proposals in November. The work will have as premise the investments’ attraction, more dynamism and access to information, increase of competition, participation of multiple agents, compliance with the contracts and strategic construction of the sector. (07/26/2016)


·         14th Round with more flexible rules

The rules of the ANP’s 14th Concession Bid Round, expected to occur in 2017, will be softened in order to reflect the market’s current situation and the expectation of increasing its attractiveness. The MME and the ANP are developing studies in such sense, that includes the offering of blocks located in areas near to the assets included in the Petrobras’ disinvestment plan. The adjustment of the signature bonus and minimum exploratory commitment are some of the actions under analysis by the government. Another possible change is the adjustment of the sizes of each block, that may be modified, in a case by case basis, in order to attract more investments. (07/28/2016)


·         Statoil will acquire Petrobras’ participation in Carcará

Statoil announced that will acquire Petrobras’ 66% participation interest in the block BM-S-8, in the Santos Basin, where Carcará prospect is located. The Norwegian oil company will pay USD 2.5 million for Petrobras’ participation in the asset. The other partners on the contract are QGEP, with 10%, Petrogal, with 14%, and Barra Energia, with the left 10%. Carcará is a discovery with high quality oil (30 API) and associated gas in a thick reservoir and with excellent properties, as highlighted by Statoil. The prospect extends to BM-S-8 and an open acreage area, that may be auctioned soon. (07/29/2016)

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 (luismenezes@felsberg.com.br), our partner responsible for the Oil and Gas Department.

 

OIL AND GAS DEPARTMENT

FELSBERG ADVOGADOS

 

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.

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