Brazil hoped for 40 oil and gas companies to register for its planned auction of the giant Libra field but only 11 firms came forward.
Libra is the biggest oil discovery in the country’s history.
Among the big Western companies that opted out are Exxon Mobil Corp, BP Plc, BG Group Plc, and Chevron Corp, Reuters said.
Bidders who paid the $931,818 registration fee are Petrobras, India’s Oil & National Gas Co, Malaysia’s Petronas, Colombia’s Ecopetrol SA, China’s CNOOC and China National Petroleum Corp., along with Mitsui & Co Ltd, Total SA, and Royal Dutch Shell plc.
China’s Sinopec will bid through minority interests in joint ventures with Spain’s Repsol SA and Portugal’s Galp Energia.
The giant Libra field is estimated to hold 8 billion to 12 billion barrels of oil.
Brazil President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers’ Party has been criticized for failing to attract foreign investment.
The auction is the first under Brazil’s 2010 production-sharing law that strengthened government control over offshore oil reserves, Reuters said.