House of Deputies approves proposal for pre-salt in the Santos Basin

The plenary of the House of Deputies concluded, on Wednesday (5/7), the vote on the bill that allows Petrobras to transfer or negotiate up to 70% of the fields of costly pre-salt transfer in the Santos basin. The proposal will allow the negotiation of the equivalent of up to 5 billion barrels of oil. The matter follows for the Senate's appreciation.

The basic text of the proposal was adopted in June and for the measure to be completed, MEPs still needed to look at the suggestions for change in the text. However, none of the proposals submitted has been approved.

Divergences-for the opposition, the proposal diminishes the power of Petrobras by emptying its assignments. For the congressman Henrique Fontana (PT-RS), the project interests international companies. "What is intended is to open up this huge frontier of exploration of the pre-salt oil to deliver to the oil transnationals," he said.

The opposition also questioned the type of bidding defined by the proposal. By the approved text, the sale of the surplus volumes to the costly transfer contract shall be made under the production-sharing scheme. The National Energy Policy Council (CNPE) will define guidelines for the execution of the auction, including the form of payment.

For Mr Orlando Silva (PCdoB-SP), it is proposed to eliminate, in practice, the possibility of competition of bids according to the rules laid down today. "We are discussing rules for oil exploration, because it is a wealth of Brazil, a heritage of Brazil. It is, moreover, in the Constitution, (establishing) that it is a patrimony of our country. There are already peculiar rules for the exploitation of oil and are suitable for considering the particularities of the oil and gas sector. Therefore, the bidding should follow the proper rules for the oil and gas sector, "he said.

New investments

According to the government leader in the house, congressman, the proposal will attract investments to Brazil. For him, the measure will give Petrobras more flexibility. "This does not invalidate us to have transparency and that we have, without a doubt, smoothness within this process," said Ribeiro, in defending the overthrow of one of the amendments to the text which intended to exclude from the PL the permission for Petrobras, when Operator of an oil consortium does not use the bidding and contract rules provided for in Law No. 13.303/16, on governance rules of State enterprises.

"This is an important matter for easing and giving autonomy and independence so that this process can be given not in the way it is today. Sometimes, we're talking here in bidding as if the bidding was a way to bring smoothness to the process. Quite the contrary, we have today many bidding processes that are addicted, "argued the governing parliamentarian.

The text also provides that contracts arising from the bidding will have no limit on the volume of equivalent barrels and, if defined in the edict, may provide for the exploitation and production of the surplus volume to the contractor. The announcement of the bid must also provide for the minimum amount of the payment for the excess volumes to the costly transfer contract.


The proposal changes excerpts from the Law No. 12.276/2010 and allows the possibility of, in cases of revision of the contract of costly transfer, to be allowed the reimbursement to Petrobras also in oil barrels.

Currently, the legislation grants exclusively to Petrobras in the pursuit of research and mining activities of petroleum, natural gas and other fluid hydrocarbons in these areas, and expressly prohibits its transfer.

By the text of the Bill No. 8.939/2017, Petrobras will have to maintain 30% of the participation in the consortium formed with the partner company and the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) and should grant prior and express authorization. The project also determines that Petrobras and ANP publish, in advance, the technical, economic and legal motivations that have marked their decisions.

According to the measure, in addition to these conditions, it will also be required that the object and the contractual conditions be maintained and that the new transferee meets all the technical, economic and legal requirements established by the ANP. The contract and its revision should be submitted to the prior appreciation of the National Energy Policy Council (CNPE).

Costly assignment

Established in 2010, the onerous assignment is a contract in which the Union granted Petrobras the right to explore and produce 5 billion barrels of oil and natural gas, in six blocks of the Santos Basin's pre-salt. According to the oil company, production is, on average, 25000 barrels of oil a day. Of the ten wells with the highest production in Brazil, nine are located in this area. Source: the day.

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