Extra pre-salt block auction can happen in August

The government expects to perform in August an extraordinary oil auction, the 5th round of the pre-salt. The oil companies will be offered the two areas that were left out, by the determination of the Court of Auditors of the Union (TCU), of the last auction, held in last week. A third area should be excluded from the bid scheduled for June and will also be part of the extra round, according to the special Secretary of the Investment Partnerships Program (PPI), Adalberto Santos de Vasconcelos.

In addition to the S-M-534 and S-M-645 blocks, the August auction will have the area of Saturn, which is in the same region and was originally included in the 4th round of the pre-salt. Geological studies have identified a great possibility for the three blocks to integrate into the same oil reservoir, which can cover both the bidding layer and the pre-salt of the Santos basin, although they are not located within the limits of the "polygon of Pre-salt ".

After the success of the auction last week, which grossed R $8 billion with the transfer of 22 blocks to the private initiative, the government began to speak in anticipation of obtaining r $18 billion this year, value that can double with unplanned rounds. The government scored two auctions for this year, having held three last year that yielded R $10 billion.

The expectation is also high with the sale of blocks of the 4th round, scheduled for June 7th, whose payment is made by fixed signature bonuses, usually high, and part of the oil that will be produced. The calculations on the collection potential of the extra August auction – which needs to go through the evaluation of the National Energy Policy Council (CNPE) and be qualified in the PPI – have not been completed. Initially, it was estimated that the two areas of the bidding withdrawn from the concession auction yielded R $3.5 billion. They were the most valued of the event.

In 2013, when bided the gigantic prospect of Libra – which spreads through extensive area in the salt of the Santos Basin –, the government grossed R $15 billion in bonuses, which were incorporated into the Union's fiscal result. Following the sharing scheme, the auction had the participation of a single consortium (Petrobras, the Chinese CNOOC and CNPC, the Total French and Anglo-Dutch Shell) that scooped the area with a proposal of payment of 41.65% of the profit in oil for the union.

Vasconcelos recalls that the exploration of oil in the pre-salt is expensive and Brazil has assumed a commitment to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels from 2025. "If we don't use this pre-salt wealth now, it's going to get sunk." He explained that, ideally, the fixed costs of pre-salt exploration will need to be amortized until then. Source: Estadão

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