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Brazil Oil Auction a ‘Total Disaster’ as Bidders Stay Away

  • Real slumps after two blocks sold to Petrobras at the minimum
  • Two others go unsold; Exxon among companies that didn’t bid
Photographer: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg
Updated on

Brazil’s largest-ever auction of oil deposits flopped, sending the real tumbling, after state-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro SA did most of the bidding while other major oil companies stayed away.

Petrobras, as the company is known, joined with China’s Cnooc Ltd. and China National Oil & Gas Exploration & Development Co. in submitting the winning bid for the giant Buzios field, the prize of the auction. Petrobras was the sole bidder for the Itapu block, and offered minimum amounts for both. Two others, Sepia and Atapu, received no bids. Exxon Mobil Corp. and other oil majors didn’t make any bids.