Ahead of mega oil auction, Brazil fighting over who gets the money

petrobras oil auction
Photo: Tânia Rego/ABr

At the beginning of November, Brazil’s government is set to hold what could be the biggest oil and gas auction in the country’s history. The administration will be offering areas in the famous pre-salt oil layer from which somewhere between 6 and 15 billion barrels may be extracted—comparable to the entire reserves of countries such as Mexico and Angola.

The auction has attracted the interest of 14 oil companies, including firms from the United Kingdom (BP), U.S. (Chevron and ExxonMobil) and China (CNODC and CNOOC).

According to the auction rules, the winners will have to onsell part of...

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