UPDATE 1-Brazil to hold next oil-rights auction in 2015-ministry

martes 25 de marzo de 2014 13:14 GYT

* Sale could be under concession or production-share systems

* Petrobras won't face new oil-for-stock swap price until 2015

* New oil-for-stock swap deal to come after viability declaration (Adds additional information about auction, auction types; adds detail about Petrobras oil-for-stock swap areas)

By Rodrigo Viga Gaier

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 25 (Reuters) - Brazil will hold its next oil-rights auction by the middle of 2015, a top energy official said on Tuesday, a move designed to give the government more time to draw up sale rules.

It was not stated whether the auction would be an oil rights concession auction or an auction of production-sharing rights, Marco Antônio Martins Almeida, the petroleum secretary of Brazil's energy ministry told reporters.

"Next year we will have an auction for sure, the first half at the latest," he said.

On March 13, Magda Chambriard, the head of Brazil's oil regulator, which runs all Brazilian oil auctions, said she was taking a "conservative" stance toward oil rights auctions this year, a comment taken to mean that the once annual sales would not happen in 2014.

Brazil's state-owned oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA has also seen its ability to raise cash for auctions and new exploration activity undermined by the government's domestic fuel price controls and heavy spending to develop areas it already owns.   Continuación...