International oil consortium wins historic Brazilian asset auction

The group, also made up of Total, Shell and two Chinese firms has won the right to explore the Libra oilfield’s estimated 8-12 billion barrels of recoverable oil reserves for the next 35 years.

Already entitled to a 30 percent stake in the project, as stated in the rules governing the auction of the Libra rights, Petrobras also obtained a further ten percent stake in the field. French oil giant Total and Anglo-Dutch Shell will hold 20 percent each, while Chinese state companies CNPC and CNOOC take ten percent each.

The president of the government's National Petroleum Agency (ANP), Magda Chambriard, hailed the auction as an absolute success. "It is hard to imagine a more successful outcome. These companies are among the world's 10 most valuable in the energy branch," she said.

The Libra field belongs to the Brazilian government's ANP and is part of huge oil reserves discovered in 2010. The offshore oilfield is located at a depth of some 5,000 metres (16,500ft), below a thick layer of rock, sand and salt, which makes its exploration extremely challenging. The discovery potentially doubles Brazil's known oil reserves.