Journal Article

Why the unitization process is an important issue when dealing with the Brazilian Pre-salt Polygon

Luciana Palmeira Braga and Olavo Bentes David

in The Journal of World Energy Law & Business

Volume 11, issue 1, pages 17-33
Published in print March 2018 | ISSN: 1754-9957
Published online January 2018 | e-ISSN: 1754-9965 | DOI:
Why the unitization process is an important issue when dealing with the Brazilian Pre-salt Polygon

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The Pre-Salt Polygon1 is amongst the most important oil and natural gas discoveries of the last few years in Brazil and globally. In July 2017, its production represented 48.2 per cent of total Brazilian output.2 Due to the geological structure of the area, and the presence of fields already granted under concession agreements and onerous assignment agreements, this will probably result in the signing of many unitization agreements (UAs) in the next few years. The Brazilian National Petroleum Agency (ANP) is about to regulate ‘procedures and guidelines for the unitization agreement negotiation’, according to Article 34 of the Pre-salt Law. In compliance with this article, ANP published Resolution No 25 of 2013 on 9 July 2013, which regulates the unitization procedure in Brazil, covering onshore and offshore E&P operations. These rules provided solutions to issues that the revoked Article 27 of Petroleum Law, the various E&P concession agreements and other ANP Resolutions could not solve, although other issues, especially relating to open areas located in the Pre-salt Polygon, remain. The National Energy Policy Council (CNPE) has published Resolution No 8 of 2016, establishing unitization guidelines for the process of involving open areas. CNPE has also launched Resolution No 7 of 2017, which provides guidelines on local content in unitization areas. Following the new CNPE policies, ANP amended its Resolution No 25 of 2013, through Resolution No 698 of 2017. This article gives a brief update of the Brazilian regulatory framework for E&P activities and discusses the unitization process, highlighting the main changes and observing what will be important to consider in all the forthcoming unitization activity.

Journal Article.  10585 words. 

Subjects: Environment and Energy Law

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