Petroleo Brasileiro, known also as Petrobras, chartered from Brazilian and Norwegian companies 12 offshore drilling platforms designated primarily for the Santos Basin.
The Brazilian government will have a majority stake in the platforms, which Petrobras will charter for the next 15 years.
Petrobras expects delivery of the 12 platforms by 2016. They are designed to operate in waters as deep as 9,800 feet.
Petrobras said there was an estimated 2.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent in the region.
More than 91 percent of the oil and 76 percent of the natural gas come from offshore fields and two of the country's largest producers, Bauna and Piacaba, are in the Santos Basin.