Petrobras emerged as the major victor in the 4th Cycle of the Permanent Offer, securing 29 blocks within the Pelotas Basin under the concession regime. This triumph transpired during an auction convened by the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Biofuels (ANP). Prioritising offshore assets, Petrobras engaged in consortium partnerships with other companies.

In the blocks acquired, Petrobras will assume the role of operator, overseeing three in collaboration with Shell (30%) and CNOOC (20%), and the remaining 26 in partnership solely with Shell (30%). These newly acquired blocks are situated in the coastal region of Rio Grande do Sul.

The company is obligated to pay a signing bonus totalling BRL116m ($23.58m). Notably, this sum accounts for less than 1% of the investments sanctioned in the 2024-2028 Strategic Plan and was preordained within the framework of the plan itself.

Petrobras adopted a discerning approach during the auction, aligning with its strategy to revamp its exploration portfolio by venturing into new frontiers exhibiting geological potential.

Presently, nearly 80% of the company’s production is centred in the pre-salt, maintaining its status as a primary asset due to significant economic and environmental advantages. The pre-salt assets contribute to the production of higher-quality oil while concurrently reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Beyond investments in the pre-salt and the Brazilian Equatorial Margin, Petrobras is committed to securing the sustainability of forthcoming oil and gas production. This involves an integrated approach with diverse energy sources, contributing to the ongoing energy transition in a just, secure, and sustainable manner. The addition of these 29 blocks complements the existing portfolio of 47 blocks.

The acquisition of these 29 exploratory blocks will result in the inclusion of over 20 thousand km2 to the current portfolio, which stands at approximately 30 thousand km2. This represents a substantial 67% increase in the exploratory area.

Petrobras CEO Jean Paul Prates said: “New frontiers, such as the blocks acquired today, are essential for energy demand to be met. For this reason, we seek to replenish reserves and develop new exploratory frontiers that ensure that we meet energy demand during the energy transition with the lowest possible carbon footprint.”

Petrobras engaged in the auction through competitive consortia, aligning with its strategy to bolster partnerships, share risks, and leverage combined technical and technological expertise. The companies recognised a promising geological potential in these areas, providing a foundation for their competitive proposals.

It’s worth noting that both Shell and CNOOC are already collaborators with Petrobras in other partnerships within the Exploration and Production (E&P) segment.

Following this auction, the next steps involve the qualification stage for the winning bidders, followed by the subsequent signing of the contracts.