Brazil had hoped to secure more than $26 billion in fees from oil companies for the rights to exploit fields that the government said may hold 15 billion barrels of oil.
Instead, the country secured about $17 billion, with Petrobras, its own state-run oil company, and Chinese operators making the only bids.
President Bolsonaro wants Brazil to boost its oil production and to join the Opec cartel of leading crude producers.
However, international bidders were said to have been deterred by high fees, as well as the requirement to work with Petrobras, which had exercised rights to become the operator in two of the four blocks up for grabs. The other two licences secured no interest at all.
They’re asking too much rather than there being no interest at any price.
But all the Greens will now praise the oil companies, right?