Brazil Opens Oil Fields to Foreign Firms in Major Policy Shift

6 Oct 2016   Brazil

Congress approves liberalization of huge pre-salt deposits State-run Petrobras no longer sole operator of offshore area Brazil’s Congress voted on Wednesday night to open up its pre-salt oil fields to foreign investors by scrapping Petroleo Brasileiro SA’s obligation to be the area’s sole operator. The legislation was approved by a 292-to-101 vote, following a bad-tempered debate during which opponents, many dressed in the orange jumpsuits of the state-controlled oil company, repeatedly attempted to delay proceedings. Various amendments to the legislation will be debated next week before President Michel Temer signs it into law. In a significant change to Brazil’s offshore oil industry regulations, companies other than Petrobras can now operate blocks in the largest deep-water deposits discovered this century. Until now the heavily indebted state-controlled oil producer was legally obliged to operate all the pre-salt fields with a 30 percent minimum stake. Legislation to open up the area to […]

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