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Petrobras' pre-salt plans under threat

The financial crisis is threatening Petrobras' plans to fast-track pre-salt reserves development, offering opportunities for foreign firms. China's CNOOC is among the interested investors, writes Robert Cauclanis

BRAZIL'S Petrobras is set to become increasingly dependent on partnerships with foreign investors to develop its high-cost pre-salt resources. With the oil price having fallen by nearly two-thirds from its mid-year peaks and with credit scarce, discussions with potential investors appear to be under way already. China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), is hoping to make a multi-billion dollar investment in partnership with Petrobras in the pre-salt, according to CNOOC's chief executive, Fu Chengyu. Since November 2007, Petrobras and various partners have discovered 8bn-12bn recoverable barrels of oil equivalent (boe) in the ultra-deep waters of the Santos basin – beneath a large sal

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