Source: Washington Times
BUENOS AIRES — Off the coast of Rio de Janeiro — below a mile of water and two miles of shifting rock, sand and salt — is an ultradeep sea of oil that could turn Brazil into the world’s fourth-largest oil producer, behind Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
The country’s state-controlled oil company, Petrobras, expects to pump 4.9 million barrels a day from the country’s oil fields by 2020, with 40 percent of that coming from the seabed. One and a half million barrels will be bound for export markets.
The United States wants it, but China is getting it.
Less than a month after President Obama visited Brazil in March to make a pitch for oil, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was off to Beijing to sign oil contracts with two huge state-owned Chinese companies.
The deals are part of a growing oil relationship between the two countries that, thanks to a series of billion-dollar agreements, is giving China greater influence over Brazil’s oil frontier.
Chinese oil companies are pushing to meet mandatory expansion targets by inking deals across Africa and Latin America, but they are especially interested in Brazil.
“With the Lula and Carioca discoveries alone, Brazil added a possible 38 billion barrels of estimated recoverable oil,” said Luis Giusti, a former president of Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA, referring to the new Brazilian oil fields.
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