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THREE MORE FIRMS CONFIRM ROLE IN BRAZIL’S LATEST O&G AUCTION

16 / 05 / 2018

Source: Latin Lawyer
By Thomas Muskett-Ford
 Campos Mello Advogados; Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados and Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown have all represented clients in Brazil’s record-breaking 15th oil and gas bid round.

Campos Mello Advogados advised US company Murphy Oil, while Mattos Filho assisted BP and ExxonMobil. Tauil & Chequer Advogados also landed a role, but the firm could not reveal its clients prior to publication. They join Demarest Advogados, which previously confirmed its counsel to QPI Brasil Petróleo, a subsidiary of state-owned Qatar Petroleum.

Brazil’s 15th bid oil and gas bid round was held in late March and involved 68 exploration-phase blocks. Campos Mello’s client Murphy scored two blocks by entering a consortium composed of ExxonMobil and Brazil’s Queiroz Galvão. Its concessions are in the Sergipe-Alagoas basin, which lies off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. The three companies paid a signing bonus of some 3.6 million reais (US$981,500) for each block.

BP also got two blocks with help from Mattos Filho. It teamed up with Norway’s Statoil to acquire concessions with pre-salt exposure in the Campos basin worth a combined 86.7 million reais (US$23 million).

Mattos Filho’s other client, ExxonMobil, emerged as the biggest winner. The US company entered three consortiums to acquire eight blocks spread across the Campos, Santos and Sergipe-Alagoas basins. The combined signing bonuses paid for these blocks came to 7.05 billion reais (US$1.9 billion). This included its record-breaking 2.82 billion reais (US$848 million) joint offer with Demarest client QPI and Petrobras for block C-M-789 in the Campos basin. Latin Lawyer understands this is the highest-ever paid for a Brazil oil and gas concession.

The auction compares favourably to the country’s last major bid round, which was held in September 2017. Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency drew 8 billion reais (US$2.4 billion) in signing bonuses, which is considerably more than the 3.8 billion reais (US$1 billion) earned in the 14th bid round. Of the 68 exploration-phase blocks up for grabs, 22 were acquired by 13 companies from 11 different countries.

President Michel Temer has overseen several oil and gas auctions during his short tenure. A fourth round of bids for pre-salt production-sharing contracts is scheduled for 7 June.

Counsel to BP

Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados

Partner Giovani Loss and Felipe Feres and associates Danielle Ludwig, Flavia Giambroni, Nilton Gomes de Mattos Neto and Gabriel Acciarito

Counsel to ExxonMobil

Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados

Partner Giovani Loss and Felipe Feres and associates Danielle Ludwig, Flavia Giambroni, Nilton Gomes de Mattos Neto and Gabriel Acciarito

Counsel to Murphy Oil

Campos Mello Advogados

Partner Leonardo Costa and associates Fernando Xavier and Anna Joppert

Counsel to QPI Brasil Petróleo

Demarest Advogados

Partner João Almeida and associates Roberta Batalha, Priscila Park and Livia Leal