Petrobras, Total buy stakes in pre-salt blocks in Brazil

Brazil's state oil company Petrobras and France's Total have bought stakes in three pre-salt oil blocks off the Atlantic coast.

In an auction held Friday, the two companies agreed to pay 3.26 billion reals ($800 million) for the three blocks.

Petrobras agreed to 36 month operating contracts in the Mero and Sapinhoa blocks which have a combined output capacity of 11.2 million barrels over the next three years.

Total agreed to a 12 month contract for the Lula block which has an estimated output capacity of 1.1 million barrels.

The pre-salt reserves auctioned are more than 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) below the ocean's surface and another 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) underneath soil and corrosive salt.