October 3, 2019 / 4:07 PM / 8 months ago

Brazil approves 13 companies to bid in November oil auction

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Thirteen companies have been approved by Brazilian authorities to participate in a November oil bidding round for offshore exploration and production rights.

The companies were cleared to participate in the so-called 6th pre-salt bidding round, according to Thursday's edition of the government's official bulletin. Total signing bonuses are fixed at 7.85 billion reais ($1.92 billion).

The auction, scheduled for Nov. 7, is sizable by historical standards but significantly smaller than a so-called transfer-of-rights auction due to take place a day earlier. The government is expected to collect over $25 billion in signing bonuses at the Nov. 6 auction.

The list of participants on Nov. 7 is similar to those in the transfer-of-rights round. Two companies are participating in the 6th pre-salt round, but not the transfer-of-rights round: the Brazilian unit of Murphy Oil Corp and Repsol Sinopec Brasil SA, a joint venture between Spain's Repsol SA and China's Sinopec.

Companies signed up for the transfer-of-rights that are not included in the sixth round are the Brazilian units of France's Total SA, Portugal's Galp Energia SGPS SA and Norway's Equinor ASA.

However, in a Twitter post on Thursday, Brazil's ANP oil regulator said four more companies had applied to participate in the pre-salt round. ANP said it would evaluate the requests on Oct. 14.

Companies already approved for the pre-salt round include:

-BP Energy do Brasil Ltda, a unit of BP PLC

-Chevron Brasil Oleo e Gas Ltda, a unit of Chevron Corp

-CNODC Brasil Petroleo e Gas Ltda, an indirect unit of China National Petroleum Corp Ltd, or CNPC

-CNOOC Petroleum Brasil Ltda, a unit of China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC)

-Ecopetrol Oleo e Gas do Brasil Ltda, a unit of Colombia's Ecopetrol SA

-Exxonmobil Exploracao Brasil Ltda, a unit of Exxon Mobil Corp

-Murphy Exploration & Production Co, a unit of Murphy Oil

-Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras

-Petronas Petroleo Brasil Ltda, a unit of Petronas

-QPI Brasil Petroleo Ltda, a unit of Qatar Petroleum

-Repsol Sinopec Brasil

-Shell Brasil Petroleo Ltda, a unit of Royal Dutch Shell PLC

-Wintershall Dea do Brasil Exploracao e Producao, a unit of Wintershall Dea GmbH

$1 = 4.09 reais Reporting by Gram Slattery and Marta Nogueira; Editing by Tom Brown

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