Batista's Oleo e Gas denied more time to develop several oil finds
RIO DE JANEIRO
RIO DE JANEIRO Jan 28 (Reuters) - Brazil's oil regulator ANP denied a request by Brazilian businessman Eike Batista's bankrupt Óleo e Gás Participações SA to extend rights to develop several offshore oil and gas discoveries, the company said on Tuesday.
The ANP denied the request earlier this month. The time limits on some of the areas that were the subject of Óleo e Gás's request had already expired in September and November. Other areas in the request will expire through August 2015.
Óleo e Gás had asked for an extension so that it could adapt the discovery evaluation plans to the needs of a restructuring proposal it hopes to submit to a Rio de Janeiro bankruptcy judge by Friday. Óleo e Gás, then known as OGX Petróleo e Gás Participações SA, filed Latin America's largest-ever bankruptcy protection petition with a Rio de Janeiro judge on Oct. 30.
The areas to which the ANP denied extensions do not include any of the areas where Óleo e Gás is producing or close to producing oil and gas.
"The eventual return of some of these areas will not affect our business plan because their value was not included in any of our projections," the company said in a statement.
Rights to the Itacoatiara discovery in the Campos Basin east of Rio de Janeiro expired in September. The Belém discovery in the Santos Basin south of Rio de Janeiro expired in November.
The Tubarão Area, Tubarão Tigre and Tubarão Gato areas in the BM-C-41 block expire in February and March. The company had declared the areas commercially viable only to ask the ANP to withdraw the declarations for lack of technology needed to develop them.
The ANP turned down that request.
The ANP also denied extensions on the Videma, Tulum and Vésuvio discoveries in the Campos Basin and Natal discovery in the Santos Basin.
The ANP has also said it will decide by the end of March if Óleo e Gás has the financial resources to develop other areas it owns under concession contracts to risk losing them to their partners or the state.
Companies must register all discoveries, however small, with the ANP. Many declared discoveries never become producing oil fields. Discovery evaluation plans are required by the ANP before they allow companies to move toward development that can lead to eventual production.
OGX rose 3.45 percent in Sao Paulo trading on Tuesday to 0.30 real. (Writing by Jeb Blount; Editing by Eric Walsh)
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