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Brazilian oil regulator denies victim of U.S. spying

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RIO DE JANEIRO,- Brazil's National Petroleum Agency (ANP) assured lawmakers on Tuesday that the oil industry regulator is not a victim of U.S. spying.

U.S. intelligence agencies have not hacked the ANP's database nor spied its contents, as it has never been connected to the internet, ANP Director General Magda Chambriard told a senate hearing.

What's more, the storage site of the agency is bullet-proof, fire-proof and protected from other hazards.

"Our database is a national heritage and one of the largest databases we know in the world. You may remain tranquil, the information is safe," Chambriard said.

She added that since the ANP records pure data instead of analyses, only qualified and specialized technical experts would be able to use the information.

The ANP is in charge of Brazil's much anticipated upcoming international bidding for exploring the nation's largest deep-water oil field discovered, the so-called Libra "pre-salt" field. It is expected to double the country's oil reserves.

Following news revelations of U.S. spying on Brazil, especially on the country's state-owned oil giant Petrobras, pressure emerged to cancel the bidding or at least bar U.S companies from taking part in the process, on suspicions that U.S. oil-sector companies may have benefited from classified information.

Brazil, however, has said the bidding will take place as planned in October.
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