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Brazil postpones bidding round for major oil area to Nov. 6

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 13 (Reuters) - Brazil's oil regulator ANP announced on Thursday preliminary rules for a major oil auction in the pre-salt area in the Santos basin and postponed the bidding round to Nov. 6 from Oct. 28.

The preliminary rules will be in public consultation until July 3, according to ANP. A public hearing is expected to take place in Rio de Janeiro on July 5.

The auction comprises production sharing contracts for a total area of 1,385 square kilometers. The prospects are areas near the fields included in the Transfer-of-Rights contract signed by the government with local company Petrobras .

Contracts are expected to be signed by March 2020, said ANP.

Petrobras was granted in 2010 the right to explore up to 5 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) in the those pre-salt areas. As volumes discovered were significantly larger, the government is auctioning the surplus. (Reporting by Marta Nogueira; Writing by Gabriela Mello Editing by Phil Berlowitz)