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Landmark Brazilian auction falls flat

Enormous offshore pre-salt reserves fail to entice IOCs to the Transfer of Rights surplus bidding round

The build-up to the country’s so-called Transfer of Rights bidding round all augured well for the Brazilian government. After months of compensation negotiations with Brazil’s state-owned oil and gas company Petrobras over previous investments made in the deposits, the dispute was finally resolved and the auction promised to attract a multitude of international oil companies (IOCs) to the huge pre-salt oil reserves on offer—potentially generating at least R$106bn ($25.85bn) in signing bonuses. But the narrative failed to follow the script. Of the four fields on offer only Buzios and Itapu were successfully auctioned, raising just under R$70bn, or 65pc of the total available bonuses. Both th

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