The Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (“ANP”) published, on August 22, the Preliminary Tender Protocol of the Brazil Round 12. As announced, the round will be held on November 28 and 29 this year, when a total of 240 blocks will be offered, covering an area of approximately 168 thousand km².

The document is still a preliminary version of the definitive Tender Protocol, which will be published on September 26, after a period of public consultation that will end on September 11. The document, however, anticipates the rules that will apply to the bidding round and is accompanied by the draft of the concession contract.

The Preliminary Tender Protocol preserves the same structure and most of the provisions of the previous tender protocol.

The minimum net equity required for qualification in the Brazil Round 12, for instance, remains the same (R$1.9 million for non-operators; R$3.8 million for Operator C; R$59 million for Operator B and R$107 million for Operator A). Even though it is possible to qualify as Operator A or B (allowed to operate offshore), for the blocks offered in the Round 12 it is necessary to qualify only as Operator C.

Additionally, the Preliminary Tender Protocol expressly provides the possibility to use the registry of companies recently announced by ANP. Through this registry, the interested bidders of Brazil Round 12 may request the validation of qualification documents previously submitted to ANP during the Brazil Round 11 or in recent farmout transactions.

The publication of the Preliminary Tender Protocol also marks the beginning of the period for submission of the expression of interest and qualification documents, which will last until October 11. The data packages were made available by ANP since August 23, however its delivery is conditional upon the payment of participation fees and approval of the documentation for expression of interest.

The Preliminary Tender Protocol and the draft of the concession contract may be found in the ANP website (documents in Portuguese).

For more information about Brazil Round 12, or any other matter regarding this Legal Update, please contact Alexandre R. Chequer, Leonardo P. Costa, Victor Galante or Bruno Belchior.