Brazil Delays Oil Auction

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Brazil's national oil regulator, the National Petroleum Agency, or ANP, will probably delay oil auctions originally scheduled to take place in September or October until early next year, citing bureaucratic hold-ups as the reason for postponing the widely anticipated auction.

The country's National Energy Policy Council approved the auctions earlier this year, but Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has yet to sign off on the auctions. That means the auctions will be postponed until early 2012 as Brazilian officials said there is no time organize the process for 2011.

The 11th bid round will feature exploration and production blocks in onshore and offshore basins, including Brazil's equatorial margin off the country's northeast coast, according to the Wall Street Journal. Many of the world's top oil companies are expected to participate in the bidding.

None of Brazil's pre-salt discoveries, which are believed to hold up to 50 billion barrels of reserves, will be part of the bidding. Brazil is South America's second-largest oil producer behind OPEC member Venezuela.

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