Brazilian iron ore miner Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) announced Wednesday it is studying opportunities to acquire areas for the exploration of natural gas.
The company is gearing up to participate in the next round of a public bidding process for the exploration of hydrocarbons by the National Petroleum Agency (ANP), the Brazilian regulatory agency for the oil industry.
CVRD said it is seeking to "diversify and optimize its energy grid" through increased use of thermal coal, renewable fuels and natural gas.
Additionally, CVRD stated that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Shell Brasil Ltd to jointly evaluate opportunities and develop partnerships to meet CVRD's energy consumption needs.
The Brazilian company also said the document includes the possibility of participating in exploration blocks in the Espirito Santo basin, off Brazil's southeastern coast, where Shell already has interests.