The first auctions of Brazilian oil concessions in five years raised a higher-than-expected $1.4 billion, a spokesman for the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) said.
The ANP spokesman said 142 out of 289 blocks had been sold Tuesday, with the remainder unsold. The auction, due to be wrapped up on Wednesday, had raised 2.8 billion reals (1.4 billion dollars), the spokesman confirmed.
ANP director Magda Chambriard had earlier predicted a lower figure of between 1 and 1.2 billion dollars.
The auction of the 289 land and sea parcels located mostly in remote northern and northeastern units of Brazil had attracted bids from 64 companies from 21 countries on five continents, officials said.
The blocks offered included 166 off-shore, including 94 shallow parcels and 72 in deep water, with 123 on land, covering an area of 155,800 square kilometers.