The Next Big Offshore Boom Is About To Happen Here

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Say what you will about offshore oil and gas exploration, but it’s still alive and kicking—high production costs and all. The latest demonstration of the viability of deepwater projects, even in the post-2014 oil industry era, comes from none other than Brazil.

On Wednesday, the country’s National Petroleum Agency put 287 oil and gas blocks up for auction, and only 37 found buyers. Too few, it might seem at first. But the proceeds came in at more than US$1.2 billion—a hefty share of this pledged by heavyweight Exxon. The NPA’s expectations for the proceeds were much more modest, at $157 million.

The 287 blocks auctioned are just the first portion of a number of deposits that hold an estimated 10 billion barrels of crude in proven reserves. No wonder, then, that as many as 30 companies took part in the bidding round—the first of a total nine rounds, to take place between now and 2019…

 

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