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Dilma Points to Pre-Salt Layer Auction as Reason for US Spying

09/04/2013 - 09h07

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FROM THE PANEL

During a meeting held with ministers to discuss the information that was spied on by the NSA, Dilma Rousseff pointed to the pre-salt layer as the principle area of interest to the US.

She dismissed political reasons for the espionage. Members of the government remember that all American oil companies already indicated to Brazilian authorities that they would participate in the Libra pre-salt field auction, valued at US$ 15 billion and predicted to occur the same week that the president was to go to Washington. The Libra pre-salt field, so-called because it lays under a thick layer of salt beneath the seabed of the South Atlantic, is located in the Santos Basin, about 140 miles off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

Government aids joked about the competency of the American "spies": "They didn't even see the president get off the motorcycle!"

Translated by JILL LANGLOIS

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