The companies were the first of 60 that applied to be given approval to bid for exploration and production rights. The National Agency of Petroleum (ANP) plans to sell the blocks on May 14 and 15, according to the source.
The units given approval include Repsol Sinopec Brasil S.A., Brazil's OGX Petroleo e Gas S.A., Shell Brasil Petroleo Ltda and Brazil's Queiroz Galvao Exploracao e Producao S.A. Reuters reported China's Sinopec is a minority investor in the Repsol unit that won approval. Repsol Sinopec is 70 percent owned by Repsol and 30 percent owned by Sinopec.
The majority of the auction will be for both onshore and offshore under-explored frontier areas outside the Subsalt Polygon, Reuters said. The Subsalt Polygon is located off the coast of Brazil near Rio de Janeiro and includes almost all of the Campos and Santos basins. Approximately 80 percent of Brazil's oil is produced in the area, according to Reuters.