The Brazilian government has decided to hold an auction to sell blocks in some of its most promising offshore oil and natural gas blocks in October, one month earlier than expected.

Reuters quoted GloboNews as saying that the auction date postpone has been moved up to take advantage of the strong demand for high-risk frontier areas that was witnessed at a 14 May auction.

During the latest auction, the first in five years, Brazil sold 142 exploration areas to 39 companies from 12 countries for BRL2.82bn ($1.4bn) in cash and promises to invest a minimum of BR7bn ($3bn).

GloboNews said that Brazil also plans to include the giant Libra prospect among the areas on offer in the October sale.

Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency (ANP), which discovered oil in the Libra prospect in 2010, estimated the block to contain about 16 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

During the auction, which will be managed by ANP, Brazil will offer areas in the Subsalt Polygon.