Exclusive: Failed Exxon talks left Petrobras stranded for auctions – sources

As the weeks ticked down to Brazil’s biggest-ever oil auction, state-run Petrobras held increasingly frantic talks to find potential partners, with the heaviest blow coming when major Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) pulled out days before, according to six people familiar with the matter.

While many firms were far from ready to take on enormous signing fees and investments, Exxon came closest but ultimately failed to reach acceptable terms for the blockbuster bidding round, according to four of the sources, who requested anonymity to discuss confidential negotiations.

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