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updated: 11/7/2012 11:42 AM

Brazil to distribute oil revenues more evenly

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Associated Press

BRASILIA, Brazil -- Brazil's House of Representatives has approved a controversial proposal to share profits from the country's growing oil production sector more evenly between petro-producing states and those with little or no production.

The bill, approved late Tuesday, increases royalties oil companies operating here will have to pay the government from 10 percent to 15 percent of total profits. Of that, 21 percent will go to non-oil producing states and municipalities.

Legislators from Brazil's top oil producers, Rio de Janeiro and Espiritu Santo states, have threatened to challenge the measure in the courts.

The Senate approved the same text last year, meaning it will now go to President Dilma Rousseff for ratification. Government sources say she's likely to sign off on the bill.

Experts say massive oil discoveries off the Brazilian coast could yield an estimated 50 billion barrels.

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