Brazil plan to eradicate poverty

Tom Phillips

Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has vowed to pump billions of petrodollars into the war on poverty in the wake of one of the world’s biggest oil discoveries this decade.

Speaking on his weekly radio show, Mr. Lula said: “Monday, 31 August, represents a new independence day for Brazil. “We are talking about a discovery of oil that is almost 6,000m [under the sea], huge reserves that place Brazil among the biggest oil producers in the world.” He claimed the legislation he is planning would allow profits to be used to “take care of” education and poverty.

Brazil has been celebrating an unexpected oil boom since November 2007, when state-controlled energy company Petrobras discovered the Tupi oilfield off Brazil’s southeast coast.

Tupi, estimated to contain around 8 billion barrels of oil, was the biggest discovery in the Americas in more than 30 years. Following the discovery Mr. Lula declared: “God is Brazilian.” The Tupi field is part of the so-called “pre-salt” band, an 800-km strip containing vast deep-water oil reservoirs which could hold as much as 150 billion barrels of oil. The discovery led Brazil to suspend the auctioning of all offshore oil blocks pending new legislation, intended to give the government a larger slice of profits. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2009

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