Brazil’s Latest Offshore Oil Auction Sees Elysian, Petrobras Making Big Wins
12.14.2023 By Tank Terminals - NEWS

December 14, 2023 [Egypt Oil & Gas]- Brazil’s latest offshore oil auction, organized by the country’s oil regulator, ANP, saw fierce competition among major oil and gas companies.

 

Among them, newcomer Elysian, along with veterans Petrobras and Chevron, emerged as the top winners, securing the most blocks, meanwhile, climate activists protesting against the continued reliance on fossil fuels.

Elysian, a company based in Minas Gerais state, was created just a few months ago in August, but it managed to dominate the auction by winning 122 exploration and production areas out of the 192 that were tendered by ANP.

The government will receive nearly 500 million reais ($102 million) from the blocks auctioned, mostly from contracts for areas in the deep water Pelotas Basin along Brazil’s southern coast, according to Reuters.

Petrobras, the state-run oil company, also had a successful auction, securing 29 blocks in the deep-water Pelotas Basin. These blocks were all won as operators with consortium partner Shell.

Besides Petrobras and Shell, China’s state-owned CNOOC also formed part of the winning group in three blocks in the deep-water Pelotas Basin.

“We achieved a very successful strategy… We entered a border area with little probability of having environmental problems,” said Petrobras CEO Jean Paul Prates.

US major Chevron also had a successful auction, winning rights in 15 blocks in the deep-water Pelotas Basin.

Apart from the deep-water Pelotas Basin, Elysian also expanded its reach into other offshore basins, including Potiguar, Espirito Santo, and Sergipe Alagoas.

However, the auction was not without controversy. Outside the Rio de Janeiro hotel where the auction took place, climate activists loudly protested the push to keep pumping more fossil fuels, linked by scientists to catastrophic global warming, demanding an immediate transition to clean energy.

“The Brazilian government’s decision to hold an oil auction just a day after the global climate meetings in Dubai has been met with criticism from environmental groups,” stated Marcelo Laterman, coordinator of Greenpeace’s Oceans Front. He believes that this sends the worst possible message to the international community.

However, in his opening speech, ANP head Rodolfo Saboia acknowledged the potential contradiction of the auction but argued that the world’s dependence on fossil fuels cannot be eliminated in just five or ten years. He emphasized the need for new oil and gas exploration to prevent a decline in oil production over the next decade.

Notably, Brazil is currently the top crude oil producer in Latin America, followed by Mexico, Colombia, and Venezuela. In the offshore Santos Basin, Karoon was awarded two blocks, while CNOOC and Norway’s Equinor won one block each.

Additionally, five more blocks in Brazil’s pre-salt offshore areas were auctioned under a sharing regime. bp was the only bidder for one of the blocks in the Santos Basin.

 

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