Brazil maintains October date for Libra offshore oil auction

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 3 Tue Sep 3, 2013 6:14pm EDT

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Brazil's auction of exploration and development rights in the country's massive offshore Libra field will continue to be on Oct. 21, national oil regulator ANP said on Tuesday, after suggesting last week it could be delayed.

The regulator reaffirmed the original date of the sale in rules for the upcoming auction published on Tuesday.

The highly-anticipated auction, the first for rights to oil in Brazil's vast subsalt region, will also be the first to be conducted with so-called "production sharing" contracts.

The contracts, mandated by a 2010 law, give the government greater control over the oil in subsalt fields, known as such because of their location beneath deep layers of salt on the ocean floor.

The Libra field, located off the shore of Rio de Janeiro, is estimated to hold 12 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

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