Brazil’s president is to push state-owned oil company Petrobras as the exclusive operator of new sub-salt oil projects in an effort to increase state control over big offshore fields, according to a report by news agency Reuters.

Government officials have come up with various proposals to put Petrobrasat an advantage during bidding for the deepsea crude deposits.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is also expected to propose to Congress new oil regulations aimed at boosting the domestic industry and retaining profits.

Brazil’s Energy Minister Ediso Lobao confirmed discussing the proposals, which include making Petrobras the only operator of all blocks with a minimal share.

In the 1990s Brazil passed oil legislation that allowed the private sector to invest in development funds for oil revenues. As a result, the government has voting rights in Petrobas but only 32% of total capitalisation.

The government said that if its plans were passed it would honour existing contracts in the sub-salt province.