Brazil's state-owned pre-salt oil exploration company, Pré-Sal Petróleo (PPSA), may consider production sharing agreements operated by companies other than Petrobras, according to its president Oswaldo Pedrosa, who was speaking at Latin Lawyer's 6th Annual Oil and Gas conference held in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.

At present, companies interested in entering a production sharing contract with Petrobras cannot hold more than a 70 per cent stake in the project under Brazil's pre-salt law. However, the state-run energy company's hegemony is currently under threat from a legislative challenge in the form of a bill presented by opposition senator and former presidential contender Jose Serra, who is calling for Petrobras' minimum 30 per cent ownership stake and right of operatorship of all projects to be revoked, which would allow private companies a greater market share. The company has reported losses of 21.6 billion reais (US$7.2 billion) in the wake of its corruption scandal and its ability to meet its substantial financing commitments to extract oil from Brazil's pre-salt reserves has been called into question.

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