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GDF Suez increases gas presence in Brazil

Vice-Chaiman and President of GDF Suez Jean-Francois Cirelli gestures during a news briefing in Paris on September 3, 2007. Cirelli was appointed in July 2008. (UPI File Photo/Eco Clement) | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/ff63c9028f9b86e73fd4f65e1197229e/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Vice-Chaiman and President of GDF Suez Jean-Francois Cirelli gestures during a news briefing in Paris on September 3, 2007. Cirelli was appointed in July 2008. (UPI File Photo/Eco Clement) | License Photo

PARIS, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- French energy company GDF Suez said it secured the rights to explore six areas in the coastal Brazilian state of Bahia alongside state energy company Petrobras.

GDF Suez said it would work through a partnership with Petroleo Brasileiro, known also as Petrobras, after securing access during a bidding round held by the Brazilian National Oil, Gas and Bio Fuels Regulator.

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"The minimum exploratory program will target conventional hydrocarbons and will last three years, with the potential to extend for an additional two years," the French energy company said in a statement.

GDF Suez offered no reserve estimate for the six reserve areas in Bahia.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said most of the onshore natural gas production in Brazil is used for local consumption because of the lack of transportation infrastructure.

"Natural gas will play a key role in the Brazilian energy mix going forward, and therefore direct access to gas is an important enhancement to GDF SUEZ's position as the country's largest independent power production company," the company said Thursday.

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