(Rio de Janeiro, February 1, 2005). PETRÓLEO BRASILEIRO S/A - PETROBRAS, [Bovespa: PETR3/PETR4, NYSE: PBR/PBRA, Latibex: XPBR/XPBRA], a Brazilian international energy company, informs that in consortium with Oil Search Limited, it was one of the successful bidders in the first bidding round promoted by the National Oil Corporation of Libya (NOC), acquiring the exploratory rights and a share in production of Area 18, located in the Mediterranean Sea.
The Consortium bid for two more areas out of a total of 15 put out to tender in this round. Area 18, awarded to the consortium on January 29 2005, is made up of four blocks with a total of 10.307 km2, and situated in the offshore northeastern segment of the Libyan coastline in the Mediterranean Sea at water depths of between 200 and 700 meters. Major oil and gas producing fields such as Bouri, Al-Jurf, Bahr Essalam, etc., are also located in the vicinity, being surrounded by various important discoveries of oil and gas such as those in the G1-NC35A, C1- NC35A and E1-NC41 areas and as yet undeveloped.
Oil Search Limited is a petroleum company, which has operated in Papua Nova Guinea since 1929 as well as in Australia, Yemen, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Under the terms of
the agreement with this company, Petrobras will be the leader and operator with a 70% share in the Consortium.
The Production Sharing Contract is to be signed between the Consortium and NOC before the
middle of February and provides for a five-year exploratory phase during which a minimum of US$ 21 million will be invested. During the second 25-year period, production rights will be shared with NOC.
Already operating in Nigeria, Angola and Tanzania, Libya will be the fourth African country where Petrobras has activities on the ground. The Companys participation in this auction is aligned to the Groups strategic plan which includes major international growth in certain key areas such as the deep and ultra-deep waters of the African coast.