In the midst of the great turbulence in the Brazilian financial markets – with the strong devaluation of the real and the fall of the stock indices – the result of the pre-sal auction, disclosed on June 7, 2018, almost goes unnoticed.

For those who do not know exactly what “pre-sal” is, I refer to this article (in Italian), which clearly describes its potential:

The government auctioned 4 areas, of which the most coveted was that of Uirapuru (located near to Santos).

The auction was attended by 16 major oil companies, most foreign: a record, demonstrating the renewed interest in the potential extraction of pre-sal.

The auction mechanism foresees a fixed “subscription bonus”: the consortium wins by committing itself to delivering the highest percentage of extracted oil to the Brazilian government, discounted production costs.

In the case of the Uirapuru area, the “bonus” was 2.65 billion reais (about 700 million dollars) and the starting point was a percentage of 22.18% of production: the winning consortium, formed by Exxon , Statoil and Petrogal offered 75.49%, signifying the exceptional potential of this area.

Petrobras, which was part of the losing consortium (having offered “only” 72.05%), exercised the right of preference (established by a law of 2017) and became part of the winning consortium with a 30% stake .

The “Dois Irmaos” area, of lesser importance, went to a consortium formed by Petrobras, BP and Statoil.

The “Tres Marias” area, the smaller of those offered, went to a consortium formed by Petrobras, Shell and Chevron (at its debut in Brazil).

For the fourth area (Itaimbezinho) there were no offers.


It is estimated that, thanks to the oil that will be delivered by the winning consortia, the extra income for the government will amount to about 40 billion reais.