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CNOOC Limited and CNPC gained the contract as part of a consortium including Petrobras, Shell and Total, according to a statement on CNOOC’s website.
Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency (ANP) Chief Magda Chambriard said after the auction that the companies are “among the world’s 10 most valuable in the energy branch”.
Petrobras holds 40 per cent of the stake as operator of the winning consortium while Shell and Total hold 20 per cent each, and CNPC and CNOOC hold 10 per cent each.
Brazilian Oil Minister Edison Lobao said the pre-salt discoveries would more than double Brazil’s oil reserves.
“We will finally do what the people have always wanted so much, which is to turn Brazil into a developed country,” said Lobao.
CNOOC Limited will pay 1.5 billion Brazilian reais (around $700 million) for its 10 per cent share, the company statement said.
Under the new rules for offshore auctions, Petrobras is the sole operator of the fields and must hold a minimum 30 per cent stake in them.
The new model also asks the winning consortium to pay a 15 billion real ($6.8 billion) bonus to the Brazilian government in advance.