Brazil's hidden oil reserves

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Brazil has the potential to become one of the world's largest producers of oil if it can tap its reserves deep under the South Atlantic. Anchor Marco Werman discusses Brazilian views of deep-sea oil drilling with the BBC's Paulo Cabral is in Niteroi, near Rio de Janeiro.

MARCO WERMAN: Brazil has a potential to become one of the world's largest producers of oil if it can taps its reserves deep under the South Atlantic. The BBC's Paulo Cabral is in Niteroi near Rio de Janeiro. Paulo, what are people in Brazil saying about deep sea drilling now, especially after the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

PAULO CABRAL: Well people do get a bit worried about that. People have said this all over the news. But I would say there is still in Brazil more excitement about the possibilities of having all this oil here than actual concern about what could happen there. Of course there is concern, but I think that the interest in the oil still is a bit stronger among the Brazilian society. And you know, actually, I've been talking earlier to the head of the federal body that regulates all oil business in Brazil and the head of this agency told me that they are looking into what happened in the Gulf of Mexico and they could enforce rules to oil companies in Brazil that would be more strict to prevent this kind of accident from happening. Actually international analysts say that already Brazil has stricter rules for its oil companies than the United States does. So there would be a tougher control here in Brazil, but what the national agency says is that they do see a danger after the example of what happened with BP in the Gulf of Mexico and they intend to make it even tougher.

WERMAN: And how strong is the environmental movement in Brazil Paulo? Do they kind of join in the overall public excitement over ultra deep oil reserves?

CABRAL: No I wouldn't say they join the overall excitement. They are quite critical of it, but I would say that this is one aspect that has not had so much resonance with society. You know President Lulo DeSilva when those new reserves were found, he qualified them as a gift of God and he said that also meant a second independence for Brazil and I would say that this was the kind of rhetoric that appealed more to the Brazilians than the things were being said by environmentalist groups that, as you know, actually favor biofuels, renewable energy, alternative sources, rather than oil.

WERMAN: The BBC's Paulo Cabral in a shipyard in Niteroi just outside of Rio de Janiero, thanks very much for your time.

CABRAL: Thank you Marco.