Brazil: OGX may keep blocks under bankruptcy protection

Jeb Blount – Reuters, 10/17/2013

Cash-strapped Brazilian oil company OGX Petróleo e Gás Participaçãoes SA may get to keep its oil exploration blocks even if it files for bankruptcy protection, the head of Brazil’s petroleum regulator, the ANP, said on Thursday.

Keeping those blocks though will depend on the company, part of Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista’s EBX Group, meeting all the conditions of its current concession contracts, Magda Chambriard, the ANP’s general director told reporters in Rio de Janeiro.

OGX is reported to be considering a bankruptcy filing as it runs out of cash to bring expensive offshore oilfields on line and generate enough revenue to pay for debt and expansion. OGX’s stock fell more than 90 percent in the last year after its first offshore field produced less than expected. The OGX share-price drop, along with similar losses in EBX mining, energy, shipbuilding and port shares, made it harder for Batista to raise money to keep financing his EBX start-ups.

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Auctioning off Brazil’s oil and gas

Paula Daibert – Al Jazeera, 10/03/2013

The auction of a giant oil field in Brazil is bringing the country to the centre of attention of the global energy industry – and raising questions about Brazil’s energy strategy.

In 2007, Brazil’s majority state-run oil company Petrobras announced the discovery of large oil reserves off the country’s coast. Analysts say it is the biggest discovery in the last 20 years, which may in the long run shift the epicentre of the world’s oil supplies to the South Atlantic.

Madga Chambriard, director-general of the National Oil Agency (ANP), told Al Jazeera she estimates that Brazil’s gas and oil production will roughly double in the next 10 years, from 2.4 million barrels per day to 4.5 million.

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Brazil approves 64 companies for oil auction

Global Post/Agencia EFE, 04/16/2013

Sixty-four companies have received authorization to participate in the bidding for new oil exploration blocks in Brazil next month, the National Petroleum Agency, or ANP, said.

Spain’s Repsol and Cepsa, and Colombia’s Ecopetrol are among the companies that qualified to bid out of the 71 that filed requests, the ANP said.

The May 14-15 auction will offer 289 exploration blocks in 11 sedimentary basins covering 155,800 sq. kilometers (59,846 sq. miles).

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Brazil oil auctions: they are really really happening (really)

Samantha Pearson – Financial Times, 01/10/2013

After five years of legal battles, rumours and empty promises it’s finally happening: Brazil is auctioning off its oil blocks.

The country’s energy minister, Edison Lobão, told reporters on Thursday that the so-called 11th round of 172 onshore and offshore blocks would be held in May, or even earlier if possible.

Although the government promised last year to kick off the long-awaited auctions in 2013, there were doubts it would go ahead because of disagreements over the new law governing the distribution of royalties.

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Chevron could have prevented Brazil offshore spill: regulator

Reuters, 07/18/2012

(Reuters) – Brazil’s national oil regulator will report on Thursday that Chevron could have avoided an offshore spill last November by following its own procedures manuals, the agency said in a statement.

The report, which follows months of investigation by the agency after a spill in the Frade field off Rio de Janeiro, will also say that the amount of oil that leaked into the ocean by the spill totaled 3,700 barrels.

Previously, Chevron and the regulator, known as the ANP, had estimated the spill between 2,400 and 3,000 barrels. Chevron, in a statement, said it believes that 2,400 barrels remains more accurate and that it would “analyze the ANP’s estimate.”

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Brazil regulator says gas seen in all Sao Francisco Basin wells

Reuters, 07/11/2012

BRASILIA, July 11 (Reuters) – Oil companies are finding signs of natural gas in all the wells drilled in Brazil’s Sao Francisco Basin, an onshore petroleum frontier in the country’s Minas Gerais state, Magda Chambriard, director-general of Brazil’s petroleum regulator, ANP, said Wednesday.

There are “no dry holes” in the Sao Francisco Basin, Chambriard said during a Senate hearing in Brasilia. “They all show signs of gas.”

Development of gas in Minas Gerais could reduce energy costs for Brazil’s most important mining region and a key Brazilian manufacturing and agricultural state, Cia. Energetica de Minas Gerais, or Cemig , one of Brazil’s largest utilities and the company that controls natural gas distribution in the state, said in June.

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Brazil ethanol change seen affecting fuel imports, not prices

Paul Kiernan – Dow Jones Newswires/Fox News Business, 09/01/2011

The Brazilian government’s decision this week to reduce the amount of anhydrous ethanol mixed into gasoline is more likely to affect fuel imports than prices at the pump or supplies of sugar.

Starting Oct. 1, the gasoline mix sold at Brazilian fueling stations will contain only 20% anhydrous ethanol, down from the current 25%.

The change was made in response to a weaker-than-expected sugarcane harvest in Brazil’s main center-south growing region, where most mills produce both sugar and ethanol from the crop. Supply fears linger after a near shortage of the biofuel earlier this year contributed to a spike in inflation, which remains above the central bank’s target range.