(Government of Brazil corrects value of signing bonuses to $30 billion total, not $47 billion. Corrects values of auctions in third paragraph to up to $3.8 billion instead of over $20 billion.)
HOUSTON, May 6 (Reuters) - Brazil expects to collect about $30 billion in signing bonuses this year from three upcoming offshore oil auctions set for October and November, an official said on Monday.
An Oct. 27 sale of production rights in Brazil’s so-called transfer-of-rights area - one of the world’s most promising offshore oil areas off the coast of southeastern Brazil - could draw $27 billion (106 billion reais) in signing bonuses, said Marcio Felix, executive secretary for oil, gas and biofuel at Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy, at a Houston energy conference.
Two other offshore bidding rounds are set for Oct. 10 and Nov. 7 and are expected to generated 10 billion reais ($2.5 billion) to 15 billion reais ($3.8 billion), Felix said.
Brazil’s national energy policy council (CNPE) also plans to set “some strategic guidelines” for Brazil’s refining sector soon, Felix said on the sidelines of the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.
In a meeting limited to eight government officials, CNPE is set to gather on May 9 to discuss the guidelines. The meeting follows a plan by state-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro SA to sell eight refineries for roughly $20 billion and focus on its core oil and gas exploration business.
“We welcome this (Petrobras) initiative (to sell refining assets) and Petrobras is independent and can make this decision,” Felix said. “Our concern is how this will (affect) the private sector and how there will be a new market for refining in Brazil.” ($1 = 3.9683 reais) (Reporting by Collin Eaton; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)