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Bumpy start for Brazil's auction

ExxonMobil bet big in the Campos Basin, but foreign interest was tepid and just 13% of blocks drew winning bids

Brazil's 14th oil and natural gas exploration and production rights auction set a financial record for the country's recession-battered Treasury, but it did little to realise government hopes of getting new investors to jump-start its once booming oil industry. The 3.8bn reais ($1.2bn) raised from winning bids was the largest local-currency haul (but not in US dollars) in two decades of auctions and the government was quick to declare victory. For a government trying to balance its budget and lift the economy out of its worst downturn in a century, the windfall was an achievement, especially as a massive corruption scandal forces it to beg and barter for its political life. But as the firs

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