Shell, Chevron Bet Big In Last Brazil Oil Auction Before Elections

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (NYSE: RDS.A) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) on Sept. 28 led big bets by oil majors seeking to clinch key stakes in Brazil’s coveted offshore oil play, shrugging off concerns over presidential elections that have shed uncertainty over the industry.

Shell and Chevron pledged to the government a high 70.2% of the oil it produces after costs to clinch the choice Saturno block, while Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Qatar Petroleum International landed the Tita area with a 24.5% offer, with both groups locking in key real estate in the prized Santos Basin.

By offering all four blocks, Brazil’s cash-strapped government raked in 6.82 billion reais (US$1.71 billion), days ahead of the most uncertain presidential vote in a generation, as oil companies scrambled to take advantage of what could be the last oil auction in years.