Public consultation for new resolution on seismic data opens in Brazil
Interested parties may submit suggestions for ANP-approved draft resolution by March 10, 2022
The Brazilian Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Biofuels (ANP) has opened a public consultation to receive suggestions from the market for a recently-approved draft resolution. This new resolution would replace ANP Resolution No. 757/2018 and review the rules that apply to acquiring, processing, reprocessing, conducting studies and accessing technical (seismic) data in Brazil’s sedimentary basins.
As part of the procedures for reviewing the 2018 resolution, the ANP held a workshop with regulated agents on June 28, 2021, to discuss possible changes to the proposed draft resolution.
Interested parties may send their contributions to the ANP by March 10, 2022, using the form available via this link. The ANP will also hold a public hearing on April 6, 2022.
The main changes provided for in the draft resolution are outlined below.
Extended confidentiality periods
In seeking to ensure Data Acquisition Companies (EAD) are able to receive adequate financial returns and develop their activities, the ANP has proposed extending the applicable confidentiality periods from ten to fifteen years for non-exclusive data, and from five to ten years for exclusive data.
Federal Government exploratory interest areas
The draft resolution establishes the concept of “areas of exploratory interest to the Federal Government” – areas the ANP has demarcated where there is insufficient quantitative or qualitative geological or geophysical data. Data acquired in these areas would be subject to a 30-year confidentiality period, which the ANP expects will attract new private investments for non-exclusive data acquisition, increasing competitiveness with the sector and creating a better understanding of Brazilian sedimentary basins.
Data reprocessing and the Minimum Exploratory Program (PEM)
The draft resolution also restores a previous definition of reprocessing (provided for in a 2011 ANP resolution but later removed in the 2018 resolution, still in effect) so that seismic data reprocessing can be used for deducting PEM obligations in future E&P contracts.
According to the proposed terms, if an E&P concessionaire (or contractor) intends to use seismic data reprocessing to either deduct its PEM obligations, or to return or reduce the related financial guarantee, the company must inform the ANP about its intentions when submitting the related data. Upon receiving the data, the ANP would then have 90 days to issue a Data Assessment Report (LAD) that indicates whether the data has been accepted or will otherwise be returned to the company. In the event the data is fully or partially returned, the E&P company or the EAD may carry out corrective measures specified in the LAD within 60 days, which may be extended for an equal period.
Seismic data sharing
As a way of seeking to spread knowledge on seismic data and reduce the Exploration and Production Database (BDEP) ‘s need to disclose public data, the draft resolution proposes eliminating restrictions on sharing public data. This would allow any individual or legal entity with access to public data, or any holders of exclusive data, to disclose and share it without restriction.
Annual Activity Plan (PAA)
The draft resolution provides for a new obligation concerning EADs. An EAD that obtains the ANP’s authorization to acquire, process, reprocess, and conduct non-exclusive or technical development data studies must submit its PAA to the ANP within 30 days of the authorization being published. During each year of the authorization period, EADs must also keep their PAAs up-to-date until March 31.
Moreover, the PAA must include:
- An overview of the EAD’s activities in the authorized environment (marine, land or aerial);
- A schedule of planned activities; and
- The status of the environmental license for authorized activities.
Modified notification deadlines
According to the proposed draft, the current 30-day period for EADs to inform the ANP about the identity of non-exclusive data buyers would commence from the date of sale rather than the date the data is delivered. The draft resolution would permit notifying the ANP about the commencement of activities up to 24 hours after activities begin (rather than at least 24 hours before, as is currently stipulated).
Universities and research institutions
As per the new draft, universities and research institutions would need to obtain the ANP’s authorization to operate as EADs in relation to non-exclusive or development data. However, with respect to development data, there would be an exception for those institutions already registered in Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) projects. Furthermore, E&P companies contracting RD&I projects are jointly and severally liable for delivering the acquired data and ensuring its compliance with technical standards.
For further information on the public consultation and the draft resolution, please contact Mattos Filho’s Infrastructure and Energy practice area.