Brazil's oil regulator ANP on Wednesday released details about the upcoming auctions of oil exploration rights in the promising pre-salt offshore area that are scheduled for October 27.
Through production sharing contracts, firms will be able to bid on eight blocks in the Santos and Campos basins, including three prospects for which state-controlled oil giant Petroleo Brasileiro exercised its preferential rights.
Those rights mean Petrobras could take at least a 30 percent stake in the prospects and share them with whichever consortium offers the government the most oil in exchange for the block.
However, under the rules published Wednesday, Petrobras would have 30 minutes to decide if it wants to participate with the winning consortia in the three fields in question. The rules also revise technical criteria for choosing operators as well as the system for submitting bids.
The Brazilian government wants to accelerate oil exploration as a way to boost economic activity and help the country overcome the worst recession in its history.