November 9, 2017 / 4:06 PM / a year ago

Brazil energy council approves fourth auction of pre-salt oil

BRASILIA, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Brazil’s energy policy council CNPE approved on Thursday the fourth round auction of pre-salt oil blocks and the 15th round under the concession regime, announcing planned dates for the auctions next year.

The pre-salt auction of blocks in the Santos and Campos basins is planned for June 7, while the bidding for 70 blocks under the concession regime is scheduled for March 29, CNPE said in a statement.

The 70 blocks of non-pre-salt will include offshore areas in Ceara, Potiguar, Sergipe-Alagoas, Campos and Santos basins as well as onshore in Parana and Parnaiba basins.

CNPE delayed the offer of blocks in the Foz do Amazonas basin til 2019 to allow time to complete environmental licensing for blocks auctioned in previous rounds. A consortium led by France’s Total SA won a block in the basin in a 2013 auction but has yet to receive an environmental license to proceed with exploration.

Last month, Brazil awarded six blocks in an auction of areas in the coveted pre-salt region, where billions of barrels of oil are trapped below thousands of feet of salt in the country’s Atlantic waters. (Reporting by Jake Spring; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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