Western companies mum as Asian groups flock to Brazil

Published: Monday, September 23, 2013

When one of Brazil's premier deepwater oil fields comes up for auction next month, few Western companies will be bidding for it.

But a smattering of Asian energy giants have all registered to bid for Brazil's Libra offshore field, which could produce as much as 1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (EnergyWire, July 8).

The deadline for paying the $930,000 fee for participating in the Oct. 21 auction passed Wednesday, and the number of registrants fell short of the government's hopes.

Brazil's oil and gas regulator, ANP, expected 40 companies to sign up, but only 11 followed through, the group said last week.

The bidders will include China National Petroleum Corp., China National Offshore Oil Corp., India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp. and Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional Bhd.

The few nonstate entities joining the auction include France's Total SA and Royal Dutch Shell PLC.

No U.S. companies paid to register, highlighting concerns about rising state control over Brazil's drilling industry (Samantha Pearson, Financial Times, Sept. 20). -- BS

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