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The National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) recently issued modifications to Regulation 008 of 2008, the general contracting regime for hydrocarbons. The regulation sets specific rules, particularly for companies that do not fall within The Energy Intelligence Top 100: Ranking the World’s Oil Companies, and requires qualification of operation, financial and technical capacities.
By means of Decree 2687, dated July 22 2008, the government has issued several important rules and procedures to protect and ensure national supply of natural gas. These include rules on pricing, declaration of gas reserves, preferential customers and information that must be provided to the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
The government has recently made significant efforts to broaden the participation of oil and gas companies in the domestic marketplace. As a result, requirements to execute exploration and production contracts with the National Hydrocarbon Agency permit interested parties to hold up to three blocks or areas of interest by placing particular emphasis on net worth.
For over a decade Article 43 of Law 99/1993 has caused concern to the mining, electricity, and oil and gas sectors. In particular, projects subject to environmental licensing which use a water source require an investment of no less than 1% of the cost of the project for the preservation and control of the water basin. The ministry has recently issued a decree which regulates the 1% investment.
A new Royalties Act develops the government's policy of encouraging oil production. It provides further incentives for producers, including changes to the variable royalties system and high royalties for exploitation. Provisions preventing illegal mineral transportation from producer districts to royalty-receiving districts have also been approved.