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Brazil Says China Offers $10 Billion Loan to Help Develop Oil Fields

Brazil's energy minister said China is offering to help his country develop huge offshore oil fields with a $10 billion loan.

Edison Lobao told a Brazilian newspaper, Folha de Sao Paulo, in an interview published Monday that Chinese officials have offered to loan the money to Brazil's state oil company, Petrobras.

Lobao said other offers of funding for oil field development have come from the United Arab Emirates and companies in Japan and Canada.

Brazil has discovered what it said are massive offshore oil reserves beneath the sea floor and under the Earth's pre-salt layer. Drilling for oil at such depths will require expensive technology.

The Brazilian energy minister said developing the oil fields will be profitable only if crude prices stay above $30 a barrel.

Brazil estimates these oil reserves contain up to 14 billion barrels of crude.

Petrobras is due to announce a new oil field investment plan later this month.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.