US to loan Petrobas $2 billion to develop Tupi basin oil reserve

The US government is planning to provide Brazil's state-controlled oil giant Petrobas up to $2 billion in loans, which could go up to $10 billion to fund the development of massive hydrocarbon reserves in the Tupi basin off Brazil's coast.

Last year Brazil attracted global attention when it announced the discovery of the second-biggest oil find in 20 years in the Tupi basin that measures 800km by 200km - off Brazil's southern coast that analysts say might contain a massive 5 billion to 8 billion barrels of untapped light oil.

Brazilian planning minister Paulo Bernardo da Silva said that US President Barack Obama's national security adviser, General James Jones, discussed the matter with Brazilian officials during his visit to the country late last week.

He said the US Export-Import Bank has signed a letter of intent for providing the $10 billion loan to Petrobas, but has issued a "preliminary commitment" of $2 billion.

In February, China offered Petrobas a loan-for-oil deal through its state-owned China Development Ban, which lent Petrobas $10 billion at low interest rates in return for guaranteed oil supplies. (See: China to lend Petrobas $10 billion to secure future oil supplies

The US' intention of providing a loan to Petrobas through the Export-Import Bank's US came on the eels of the Brazilian oil giant's announcement that it had discovered a new oil field in the Campos basin, holding upto an estimated 280 million barrels of light crude  at depths of 1,000 meters.