Oil industry workers in Brazil said on Wednesday that they will stop working indefinitely to protest a government decision to sell exploration rights for Libra, the nation's biggest offshore oilfield ever put up for sale. A number of oil workers' unions will also strike to demand better working conditions and increased pay, according to a statement by the United Petroleum Workers' Federation, known in Brazil as FUP.
"Workers demand the immediate suspension of the auction," the statement said.
Libra holds 8 billion to 12 billion barrels of recoverable oil, according to both Brazil's oil regulator, the ANP, and Dallas-based, oil-reserve certification company Degolyer & MacNaughton. Libra is the latest in a series of "subsalt" finds beginning in 2007 that struck oil southeast of Rio de Janeiro, trapped deep below the seabed by a layer of salt.