The Brazilian government has launched a major security operation in Rio de Janeiro as the production rights to the largest-ever oil discovery are due to go under the hammer.
Oil workers have taken to the streets in protest against the sell-off as well as demanding higher wages.
The auction has been condemned with some critics claiming that Brazil should protect the monopoly of its oil reserves.
The government is adamant that its not selling off Brazil’s natural resources with the country’s energy minister saying “It is not available to us if it stays where it is.”
Eleven international oil companies are due to attend the auction at a beach front hotel in Rio.
The Libra oilfield belongs to the Brazilian government’s National Petroleum Agency and is part of a huge oil discovery uncovered in 2010.