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Brazil sells 40 percent of Libra oilfield to state-run company as auction fuels protests

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Brazil sells 40 percent of Libra oilfield to state-run company as auction fuels protests

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Brazil has sold the production rights to the largest ever oil discovery following an auction at a beachfront hotel in Rio.

The Brazilian state-run oil company Petroleo Brasilerio claimed 40 percent of the Libra oilfield with France’s Total and Anglo Royal Dutch Shell taking 20 percent each.

China’s National Petroleum Corp and China’s CNOOC picked up 10 percent each.

As the deals were being sealed under strict security, the army and protesters clashed outside.

The sell-off has been condemned by unions and nationalists prompting an oil worker strike.

Critics believe Brazil’s natural resources should remain a national monopoly.

The government launched a huge clampdown in Rio and outside the hotel deploying over one thousand troops to ensure the auction went off without a hitch.

The heavy police and military presence failed to prevent those opposed to the sale damaging cars and bus shelters.

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullet rounds.