If oil is black gold, then Brazilian Congress is about to unlock a treasure fit for King Midas. The key is the so-called “transfer rights” bill, currently pending in the Senate and the subject of voracious negotiations between lawmakers and the future government about how to distribute a fortune of more than BRL 100 billion. The story goes back to 2010 when the Brazilian government increased its stake in state-owned oil company Petrobras.
By that time, the federal government and Petrobras had made the transfer rights agreement, under which Petrobras paid roughly BRL 75 billion to exploit 5 billion oil barrels on the so-called “pre-salt” layer. In return, the government paid BRL 49 billion for shares of the company, which aimed to increase its ability to develop the project.