The Brazilian government on Tuesday launched a state-owned company to manage the exploration of Brazil's subsalt oil reserves.
Pre-Sal Petroleo (PPSA), overseen by the Mines and Energy Ministry, will be in charge of managing the exploration of the Libra field, which was auctioned by the government last month.
A consortium formed by Brazil's state oil giant Petrobras, France's Total, Royal Dutch Shell, and China's CNPC and CNOOC won the bid.
A Libra exploration contract will be signed in December and Petrobras will serve as the operator of the field.
PPSA President Oswaldo Pedrosa suggested that production at Libra may begin in 2018-2019.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff signed a decree in August to create the PPSA.