Norwegian energy giant Equinor (formerly Statoil) has bagged exploration rights for the Uirapuru and Dois Irmãos blocks in the pre-salt area offshore Brazil.


Image: Location of Equinor’s blocks in Brazil. Photo: courtesy of Equinor ASA.

The rights were awarded to Equinor and its partners during Brazil’s 4th Production Sharing Bidding Round held by the country’s oil regulator – the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP).

For the Uirapuru block located in the Santos basin, Equinor joined forces with ExxonMobil and Petrogal Brasil by presenting the winning bid of 75.49% offered profit oil. Brazilian national oil company Petrobras had exercised its right to join the consortium and with a stake of 30% will be the block’s operator.

Equinor and ExxonMobil will both hold stakes of 28% while Petrogal Brasil will own 14% stake in the Uirapuru block.

The consortium will pay a pre-determined signature bonus of BRL2.65bn ($682m) to the Brazilian government for the exploration rights of the Uirapuru block. The exploration block is located north of the BM-S-8 block containing the Carcará discovery and the North Carcará block, which are both operated by Equinor.

For the Dois Irmãos block in the Campos basin, Equinor won the exploration rights in consortium with Petrobras and BP through their winning bid of 16.43% offered profit oil.

The consortium will pay the Brazilian government a pre-determined signature bonus of BRL400m ($103m). The Dois Irmãos block is in proximity to an area where Equinor had won four other blocks in consortium during the 15th licensing round held in March.

Equinor exploration executive vice president Tim Dodson said: “The prolific basins offshore Brazil represents world class exploration acreage.

“The results from this and previous bid rounds have added highly prospective acreage to Equinor’s exploration portfolio, allowing us to maintain a significant activity and pursue high value prospects in Brazil in the years ahead.”

Brazil raised BRL3.15bn ($810m) in signing bonuses and BRL738m ($189.12m) in planned investments during the 4th Production Sharing Bidding Round in the pre-salt area. Three of the four offered areas in Uirapuru, Dois Irmãos and Três Marias were auctioned off by the Brazilian regulator.