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Brazil's pre-salt promise

Brazil's offshore is making big strides on costs—crucial in the post-shale landscape

It's been a rough period for Brazil's oil sector. The Lava Jato scandal, centred around a massive corruption scheme in the oil industry, has plunged the nation deep into a political crisis now more than three years old. The plunging oil price exposed state oil company Petrobras's massive debts and fragile financial foundation, forcing it to embrace deep austerity and slow its offshore developments. Hovering over these issues, however, has been another question: can Brazil's deep-water pre-salt fields still compete in an era of cheap oil supply? The emergence of the US shale industry, and recent evidence that the major Permian and Eagle Ford plays can grow at $50 a barrel, has pushed Brazil'

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