With the growth of the Brazilian O&G market, various small local operators has sprung up, truly coloring the oil market scene in the country and also attracting foreign investors looking at forming local partnerships.
Aurizônia Petróleo was established in 2004 in Rio Grande do Norte, ain north Brazil and has two branches, in Rio de Janeiro (RJ) and in Mossoró (RN). The company's objective is the exploration, production, importation and exportation of oil and natural gas. Since its inception, Aurizônia has been highly successful in building a balanced and successful E&P portfolio in mature land basins in Brazil. Among the areas in which Aurizônia operates, the most important are a group of areas with small and medium exploration risk in the Potiguar(RN) and Sergipe-Alagoas Basins, in Brazil´s northeast region.
It is important to note that in the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin, Petrobras recently uncovered important deepwater reservoirs of light oil, which appear to indicate the existence of a new O&G province in the area. There is also a belief by some noteworthy Brazilian geologists that smaller pre-salt clusters may extend to this region, although as yet this is only a theory based on what is known about the petroleum systems in the South Atlantic Basin.
At present, the company has E&P concessions for six blocks covering a total area of 158.3 km². Four of these blocks are in the Potiguar Basin, covering an area of 98.1 km² with one area in production (Block BT-POT-302), known as João de Barro – North and two play ready to be developed, João de Barro – South and Periquito Oil Field (Block BT-POT-790). Blocks BT-POT-298 and BT-POT-573 are still in the exploration stage. The two blocks in the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin cover an area of 60.2 km² with Blocks BT-SEAL-417 and BT-SEAL-418 undergoing exploration drilling.
Aurizônia still operates four concessions of exploration blocks acquired in the 7th round of auctions conducted by ANP in 2005, of which two are in the Potiguar Basin and two in the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin.
The ANP exploration program stipulates the drilling of at least one well in each block. Given their exploration potential, these blocks were selected for the second period of exploration from among the 11 blocks initially obtained in the 7th round of auctions.
Although the company´s E&P portfolio is composed of small and medium exploration risk areas in mature land basins in Brazil, there are expectations that the company will join in offshore exploration in the future.
It is important to note the participation of these small national O&G operators in the market, although their share is tiny compared to major and supermajor operators, they do have an important influence in regional economies and also are an example for other small local and foreign investors and operators looking to enter the Brazilian O&G market. Luckily for Brazil there is no radical national oil policy as in some other SA countries, so that the market is open and sure to attract investors.
Photo courtesy of ANP (National Petroleum Agency)