Brazil debates how to divvy up oil wealth

AP News
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Posted: Oct 30, 2012 3:04 PM
Brazil debates how to divvy up oil wealth

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazilian lawmakers are struggling over how to spread any wealth from the country's vast and recently discovered offshore oil reserves. The battle pits states close to the oil deposits against those further away.

The lower house of Brazil's congress plans to vote this week on a measure that would give the federal government 40 percent of the royalties. The rest would be split among states and cities, favoring those closest to the oil. A version passed earlier by the Senate would split the take equally across the country.

National Petroleum Agency director Magda Chambriard says that until the issue is settled, officials cannot grant contracts to drill for the oil. Analysts say the deposits could hold as much as 100,000 million barrels of oil.