Brazil

Brazil’s lower house of Congress has approved the third of four bills designed to overhaul the country’s oil legislation and give the government greater control over vast new offshore reserves. Developing the new oil fields, which lie below a thick layer of salt rock deep beneath the ocean floor, will cost an estimated USD400 billion and could make Brazil one of the world’s top 10 oil exporters. The Chamber of Deputies has approved that would create a fund to invest oil revenues in education, health, environment and other social and economic development projects. The fund will receive all of the revenue the government will make from subsalt fields it tendered out until 2009 and some of the income on fields to be tendered later. So far nearly one-third of the subsalt area has been tendered to oil companies. The fund would obtain 160 billion reais (USD88 billion) over the lifetime of these fields, according to the Chamber of Deputies news agency. (Reuters)

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