Brazilian oil company Petrobras has faced stiff competition for prime acreage in the prolific Campos basin during the country’s first auction featuring pre-salt blocks under the so-called permanent offer initiative.

A consortium comprising French supermajor TotalEnergies, Malaysia’s Petronas and QatarEnergy submitted a winning bid for the Agua Marinha area, offering a profit oil share for the federal government of 42.4%. It defeated the proposal of 39.5% made by Petrobras and Shell.

However, as Petrobras months ago exercised its preferential rights for Agua Marinha with a minimum 30% stake the state-controlled company had a 30-minute window to decide whether or not to join the higher-bidding consortium and take over as operator.