Brazil's Subsalt Panel to Submit Report in Coming Weeks

RIO DE JANEIRO (Dow Jones Newswires), Dec. 18, 2008

The government panel studying possible changes to Brazil's oil laws will likely submit their report to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the next few weeks, the country's acting mines and energy minister said Thursday.

Marcio Zimmerman, executive secretary at the Mines and Energy Ministry, said "the working group is finalizing its report and will submit it to the president in coming weeks."

Zimmerman made the comments at the Brazilian National Petroleum Agency's 10th round auction of oil and natural gas exploration and production blocks. Zimmerman was acting as mines and energy minister while Minister Edison Lobao is at a meeting in London.

Earlier this week, Lobao had said that the panel would conclude its work this week. The panel is studying possible changes to Brazil's oil laws, including a greater take of profits from production at the country's promising offshore subsalt oil reserves.

The government panel will then forward its proposals to Lula, who has pledged to use proceeds from the subsalt oil deposits to diminish the country's crushing poverty and improve the educational system.  

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