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Newly discovered oil reserves to benefit all Brazilians
Updated: 2008-08-29 10:18

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Thursday that the recently discovered pre-salt layer oil fields are a national asset, which will benefit all the Brazilians.

"Brazil is not to be a mega exporter of crude oil," said the president, "instead, we want to build a strong oil industry in Brazil to add value to our oil and export the byproducts."

He said an inter-ministerial committee had been created to establish  new regulations for the oil fields' exploitation.

The reserves, with an estimated capacity of about 70 billion barrels of oil equivalent, could turn Brazil into a large oil producer in a few years.

"We should not forget that everyone in Brazil is to be benefited ...I want to invest a part of the pre-salt layer oil fields' revenue in education," Lula said.

According to Brazil's constitution, the oil reserves belong to the whole nation.

Lula said it is not enough to teach children how to read and write. "More investments are needed for our children who are the future of Brazil," he said.

Brazil's state-owned oil and gas giant Petrobras announced the discovery of the pre-salt layer oil fields in the Santos Basin area on the country's southeastern coast last year.

Brazil currently is the world's top producer of ethanol based on sugar-cane.