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Open-season on Bolivia-Brazil Gasbol pipeline begins July 13

Process fast-tracks Brazil's gas market opening

The cornerstone reform of Brazil's natural gas market opening is back on track week July 6-10, following a decision by regulators to re-initiate an open season on the Bolivia-Brazil Gasbol pipeline.

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The resolution announced late July 9 comes as many of Brazil's states begin gradually resuming non-essential economic activity and as various market participants express growing interest in restarting the process, the National Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Agency, or ANP, said in a release.

On July 10, the ANP plans to release additional information on the open season, detailing available capacity on offer, followed by a registration period for expressions of interest from July 13 to July 24.

A list of approved shippers will be published on July 27.

The agency said it will accept applications for firm capacity on Gasbol from approved shippers until August 10 with final results of the process announced on August 13. The startup of service for new gas import contracts is expected by September 1.

The 1.1 Bcf/d Gasbol Pipeline can supply up to one-quarter of Brazil's marketed gas volume, and could quickly transform the largely non-competitive landscape of Brazil's gas market.

Until recently, state-owned Petrobras has monopolized the upstream, midstream and even large segments of the downstream gas market in Brazil.

The Gasbol open season was abruptly halted by the ANP in late-March amid growing concern over the coronavirus pandemic and potential difficulties faced by shippers looking to participate effectively in the contracting process.

At the time of its cancellation, no revised schedule for restarting the open season had been announced.