Exxon Makes Major Bet on Brazil as Petrobras Eases Its Grip


In a single year, Exxon Mobil Corp. has gone from being a tiny bit player in Brazil to the second-largest holder of oil exploration acreage, trailing only state-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

The last 24 concessions the U.S. giant bought with its partners may hold 41 billion barrels, based on preliminary studies, according to Eliane Petersohn, a superintendent at Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency, or ANP. While the existence of the oil still needs to be confirmed, along with whether its extraction will be cost-effective, it’s a huge figure — almost double Exxon’s current reserves.

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