On January 24, 2020, Brazil's National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels ("ANP") published a new version of the Assignment Procedure Manual ("New Manual"). The New Manual describes the procedure and eligibility requirements for assignment of E&P agreements, as well as the required format of the documents.

In May 2019, ANP published Resolution No. 785/2019 ("Resolution"), which regulates the assignment procedure, the creation of guarantees over rights arising from an E&P contract and the change in corporate control of concessionaires or contractors. The publication of the New Manual complies with a requirement set forth in the Resolution, namely to specify the procedures related to the assignments.

Notable revisions in the New Manual include (i) the standard period of 90 days for analysis of assignment of concession contracts, regardless of the bidding round in which such contract was awarded; (ii) the changes in the criteria for the  economic-financial qualification levels in order to reflect the provisions of the tender protocols of the 16th Bidding Round under the Concession regime and the 6th Bidding Round under the Production Sharing regime; (iii) the inclusion of procedures to be followed in the event of change in the corporate control of the concessionaire/contractor or its withdraw from the corporate group to which it originally belonged; (iv) a reference to investments in research, development and innovation (P, D&I); and (v) the inclusion of a specific item referring to the collection of government take.

The New Manual has a detailed chapter about  petitioning documents in the Electronic Information System ("SEI"), which must be used for submission of documents relating to the assignment procedure. In addition to the digital submission through SEI, the original hardcopies of (i) assignment terms, (ii) performance guarantees and (iii) financial guarantees of minimum exploratory program or of decommissioning and abandonment must also be submitted to the ANP.

The publication of the New Manual demonstrates the ANP's commitment to provide greater transparency and legal certainty to the assignment procedure. The complete New Manual is available at the ANP official website (Portuguese only).

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