BRASILIA, March 26 Units of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Repsol SA and OGX Petroleo e Gas SA were given approval by Brazil to bid in an auction of oil rights in May, the country's first since 2008, Brazil's oil regulator said on Tuesday.
China's Sinopec is a minority investor in the Repsol unit that won approval. A unit of Brazil's Queiroz Galvao construction infrastructure and energy group also won approval.
The approvals were the first to be given to the 60 companies that applied to bid for exploration and production concessions the ANP plans to sell on May 14 and 15, the ANP said on its website.
The units that won approval are 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. Repsol Sinopec is 70 percent owned by Repsol and 30 percent by Sinopec.
The May auction will be the 11th since Brazil ended state-led Petrobras' monopoly and opened the country to outside investment in 1997.
The auction will be limited to mostly under-explored frontier areas, both onshore and offshore, outside the so-called Subsalt Polygon.
The Subsalt Polygon, off Brazil's coast near Rio de Janeiro encompasses nearly all of the Campos and Santos basins where about 80 percent of Brazil's oil is produced. Nearly all of the recent giant offshore discoveries have taken place there.