Brazil hopes to secure R$6.8bn ($1.89bn) through the fifth round of bidding on pre-salt offshore oil areas.

These plays are estimated to contain billions of barrels of oil under salt beneath the ocean floor, reported Reuters.

Winning companies are required to offer the largest percentage of oil after cost to the government.

Furthermore, the government would secure a fixed bonus from the firms.

Earlier this month, Brazil’s energy policy council, CNPE, had proposed to hold the fifth round auction in September.

This auction round would cover blocks in the Tita, Pau-Brasil, Saturno, and south-east Tartaruga Verde fields in the Campos and Santos basins.

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By GlobalData

The plan, however, requires approval of the President.

“The pre-salt offshore plays is estimated to contain billions of barrels of oil under salt beneath the ocean floor, reported Reuters.”

Last month, the government regulator ANP stated that 16 companies are likely to participate in the June auction, reported the news agency.

The names of the companies were not confirmed.

During the third round of auction held last October, 15 companies registered to participate.

Brazil plans to to open up offshore oil blocks to several overseas firms to draw investment.

The fourth round of bidding is slated to be held next month.

The four blocks to be auctioned include two in the Santos basin – Três Marias and Uirapuru, and two in the Campos basin – Itaimbezinho and Dois Irmãos.

The government hopes to secure R$3.2bn ($923.52m) through bonuses in addition to a share in the oil produced.