Brazil’s oil and gas regulator ANP on April 1 approved the temporary suspension of the 17th round of auction bids for exploration and production rights planned for this year due to the coronavirus health crisis.

In a press release, the ANP said its action followed the Mines and Energy Ministry’s decision to suspend pre-auction procedures such as the drafting of documents and contracts in light of the current economic uncertainty.

The National Energy Policy Council (CNPE) will draw up a new timetable for the auction process, the ANP said, adding that is also awaiting a decision from the CNPE regarding the bidding rounds scheduled for the 2020-2021 period.