Brazil announces pre-salt oil auction set at $26.9 billion

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's federal government says it expects to raise $26.9 billion in signing bonuses auctioning off oil fields estimated to contain more than 5 billion barrels.

In an official statement released Thursday, the government says that it is authorizing the exploration of four offshore fields following Wednesday's technical approval by Brazil's regulating agency. The government expects the auction to take place on October 28th.

The announcement is the latest move by the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro to encourage the development of the country's natural resources.

Critics say that his desire to cut red tape has bypassed concerns for the environment.