RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- An auction held Friday for the exploration of several areas of pre-salt oil reserves got a total of 6.15 billion reals, or about 1.9 billion U.S. dollars, said Brazil's National Petroleum Agency (ANP).
The Brazilian government had a total of eight blocks for auction, but only six had offers.
The auction was carried out by the ANP in a new model for oil exploration in Brazil, with the participation of Brazil's state-run oil and gas giant Petrobras as the operator of the pre-salt blocks being no longer mandatory, allowing a more active participation of foreign companies.
During Friday's auction, Petrobras led the consortiums winning the exploration rights for the three blocks of Sapinhoa, Peroba and Alto de Cabo Frio Central.
Chinese companies Sinopec, CNOOC and CNODC participated in the consortiums winning the above three blocks.
Winning consortiums in the auction also include the companies of Shell, Total, Statoil, Exxon Mobil, Petrogal and QPI.
Brazil's Mines and Energy Minister Fernando Coelho Filho hailed the auction results, saying they were above expectations, and showed that investors were attracted.
"The excellent results obtained today show the recovered confidence of international companies," he said. "I am very happy about the success of the auction."
In a video distributed on the government social networks, Brazilian President Michel Temer praised the auction results as "excellent".
"We had an excellent result," he said. "Investments of 100 billion reals are expected and the sector is expected to create up to 500,000 new jobs over the years."
He also stressed that the profits from pre-salt oil exploration will generate substantial royalties.
Under the Brazilian law, 75 percent of the royalties paid to the federal government from pre-salt oil exploration are to be invested in public education, and 25 percent in public healthcare.