OPINION: After more than four years raising tens of billions of dollars with the sale of prime offshore acreage on pre-salt and post-salt horizons, the cycle of conventional bid rounds in Brazil is over.

Since September 2017, Brazil has held four auctions under the more market-friendly concession regime and seven featuring only pre-salt areas by offering production sharing contracts to investors.

The results were, for the most part, outstanding. During that period, operators sank their teeth into exploration blocks in the prolific Campos and Santos basins, paying hefty signature bonuses to have a shot at unlocking the next major pre-salt discovery.