Business

Why is China investing in Brazilian oil, when no one else is?

Why is China investing in Brazilian oil, when no one else is?
Gas station in Beijing. Photo: Pixiaomo/Shutterstock

Earlier this month, the Brazilian government held what was supposed to be “the biggest oil auction on Earth,” selling off part of its massive deepwater pre-salt oil reserves. Instead, while the tender did bring in a record amount of money for auctions of this type (BRL 69.96 billion), it was regarded as a political flop, raising only two-thirds of the BRL 106.5 billion expected. Nearly every international competitor refused to make bids, with some not even attending the tender itself. The exceptions were only two firms: CNOOC and CNODC.

These two companies—relatively unknown to the Brazilian public—are Chinese state-owned...

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