The National Agency for Oil, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) published on March 18, 2015 Resolution No. 18, which disciplines the procedures to be adopted in tenders of blocks for the concession of the activities of oil and natural gas exploration and production. The referred legal instrument repeals ANP Resolution No. 27 of June 2, 2011.

The new regulation changes substantially the previous one. Among the innovations, emphasis goes to the new order of the tender, which now follows the sequence below:

I – publication of the pre-notice;
II – public hearing takes place;
III – publication of the notice;
IV – registration and payment of the participation fee;
V – establishment of guarantees of the bid;
VI – submission and judgment of the bids;
VII – qualification of the winning bidders of the public session of presentation of bids;
VIII – award of the contract and ratification of the tender;
IX – execution of the concession contract .

For each one of these steps the regulations set forth several guidelines to be followed by the committees responsible for the preparation and execution of the tender. According to a trend ever so common in Brazilian law, the stage of submission and judgment was moved up in the sequence, This way, the dynamics were altered, and the phase of qualification started being made only with the winning bidders, therefore, after the judgment of the bids.

The qualification requirements imposed to the bidders are more stringent than those of the repealed regulations and now they cover: legal, fiscal and labor compliance, economic, financial and technical capacity of the companies, pursuant to the criteria set forth in the notice.

The new regulation also sets out that ANP may include new blocks in the tender until the date of the public hearing, provided that authorized by the National Council of Energy Policies (CNPE), and remove blocks from the tender for technical, justified reasons.

The new resolution and the regulations are already in force.

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