Petrobras’ new contracting rules are in force

Since yesterday, May 15th, Petrobras’ new contracting rules are in force, according to Petrobras’ Bidding Process and Contract Regulations (RLCP) published in the Union’s Official Gazette on January 15th. The RLCP attends the requirements provided in the Federal Law No. 13,303/2016 (“State-Owned Entities Rules”) and replaces Petrobras’ Simplified Bidding Regulation and Petrobras’ Contracting Manual.

One of the main changes provided in the RLCP is the exclusion of the invitation letter. Thus, from now on, only the following bidding procedures are in force, and they shall be conducted, preferably, by electronic means and respective tenders shall be published in the Union’s Official Gazette:

  • Auction procedure: it shall be used for the contracting of ordinary goods and services, which performance and quality standards can be clearly defined by the tender, by means of usual market standards. This is the preferable auction procedure, but can be replaced by any of the other procedures upon justification;
  • Open competition procedure: the bidders submit their written or electronic first offers in a public session. Forthwith, it will be allowed to either increase or decrease their offers, according to the criteria provided in the bid;
  • Closed competition procedure: the offers are kept secret until the date and time defined for their disclosure, that is similar to the procedure already adopted by Petrobras; and
  • Combined competition procedure: it can be adopted when the contractual object can be divided. In this case, each part of the contractual object will be governed by the rules of the chosen procedure.

According to the State-Owned Entities Rules, the contracting procedure shall be done by means of public bids and any interested entity can participate, provided that it complies with the requirements established in the tender. However, direct contracting can occur in the following events: (i) non-applicability of bidding procedures; (ii) exemptions from bidding procedures, as listed in the State-Owned Entities Rules; and (iii) when a bidding procedure is not required, in the events where the competition is unfeasible.

The steps of the new bidding procedure are the following:


The bidding procedures already initiated, and the awards made prior to May 15th, including any amendments, shall continue to be governed by the previous legislation.

Felsberg Advogados remains at your entire disposal should you need any clarification. Should you need any further information regarding the above, please contact Luis Menezes (, our partner responsible for the Oil and Gas Department.