This news comes as a real shock to me. I interviewed folks organizing the auction at OTC 2019 and they were marketing this auction very heavily. You can read that article here:
Apex-Brasil Co-Organizes Educational Seminar At 50th Annual Offshore Technology Conference To Promote Brazil’s Upcoming Oil Auction
Meanwhile, here is an excerpt from the Offshore Engineer article and link.
Major global oil firms snubbed a second Brazilian oil auction in a row on Thursday, passing up promising offshore blocks and forcing officials to reconsider a bidding system that gives a privileged position to state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA.