Interest sours in Brazil’s Libra pre-salt oilfield auction.

FT: “What is not to like about an oilfield that over its lifetime is expected to generate revenue the equivalent of the annual gross domestic product of Austria? Or, whose estimated reserves of 8bn-12bn barrels of oil or equivalent would be enough to more than match four years of US crude oil production at present averages if it was all extracted?”
“Yet in spite of these attractions, the auction on October 21 of Brazil’s Libra oilfield, the first of the country’s giant so-called “pre-salt” discoveries to be offered under a new regulatory regime, will be much less fiercely contested than had been anticipated.
Only 11 companies of an expected 40 registered for the auction late last month. While national oil companies from around the world jumped at the opportunity, some of the biggest private sector names, including Chevron, ExxonMobil and BP, were conspicuously absent. The result suggests Brazil’s pre-salt project could increasingly become a joint undertaking with foreign states, particularly China.”