In mid-June the Brazilian Senate was presented with a Bill of Law that may potentially change the Brazilian pre-salt investment scenario. Bill of Law 131/2015 revokes Petrobras' mandatory role as the exclusive operator and its requirement to hold a 30% participating interest on all pre-salt developments under the production sharing regime.

Senator José Serra of opposition party PSDB has authored the Bill, which was included in the Senate voting agenda for urgent vote and could then be submitted to the House of Representatives. If the Bill is approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, it will be submitted to President Dilma. The President may veto the bill in its entirety. Congress may then override the veto by an absolute majority of votes.

To support his bill, Senator Serra has expressed concerns on the consequences of the corruption investigations by the Federal Police Department, compromising the pre-salt exploration. Although Serra requested urgent vote, earlier this week senators voiced their concerns on making a decision in a short time frame. Some senators are requesting a special technical committee to look into the changes, so a final vote may take much longer than initially anticipated.

Earlier this week nine specialists (amongst them Petrobras and ANP technicians) debated the changes with Senators.

Watch this space for more on the bill here

PETROBRAS DIVESTMENT PLAN AND 13THBIDDING ROUND UPDATE

Petrobras Divestment Plan

Petrobras is in the process of disposing certain assets as part of its wider US$13.7 billion divestment plan, including thermoelectric power plants, oil and gas, gas distribution and downstream assets, and possibly part of its 36% equity stake in Braskem, a petrochemical company controlled by the Odebrecht conglomerate.

Oil and Gas

Petrobras still seems willing to only sell a minority stake in most assets, but this might be subject to review as the divestment process evolves. Earlier this week there has been speculation that Petrobras would put up oil and gas assets in the Gulf of Mexico for sale in mid-July. BNP Paribas is said to be leading on this divestment.

The oil blocks in Brazil (see our previous Briefing here) have already been put on offer and potential buyers have been invited to make binding offers. Bank of America is said to be leading the Brazilian blocks divestment.

Thermoelectric Power Plants and Gas distribution assets

Please see information on these assets in our previous Briefing here

Downstream Assets

Petrol stations in Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Uruguay have already been put up for sale. Petrobras is said to be looking for a sole buyer.

13th Bidding Round

ANP has released the draft concession contract and bid notice. The drafts are currently under public consultation and prospective bidders had until 2 July to comment on the draft. The public hearing is scheduled to occur on 9 July. 

The indicative schedule is as follows:

Click here to view image.

Please see here for more information on the Bidding Round