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Posted: 6/6/2008 3:38:35 PM EDT


BRASILIA, Brazil - Brazil will use a planned nuclear-powered submarine to protect its off-shore oil fields, Defense Minister Nelson Jobim told lawmakers this week.

"We have to make it clear that defense is part of the national agenda," he told the Brazilian Congress' foreign relations and defense committee on Wednesday, according to a statement from his ministry.

Jobim stressed that the Brazilian navy was looking to acquire 50 new ships in the future, which, along with the nuclear-powered submarine, would be used to protect the oil installations off his country's southeast coast.

He suggested that royalties paid by the state-run oil company Petrobras could be used more to finance the expansion of the fleet and argued that the climbing price of Petrobras shares reflected Brazil's capacity to protect its oil reserves.

Jobim also noted that Brazil's claim before the United Nations to extend its territorial waters from 200 nautical miles to 350 nautical miles would put more demands on the navy, if approved.

Brazil was negotiating that issue in the face of reluctance from the U.N.

The South American nation has recently announced a series of huge oil finds off-shore which, if they are proven viable, could propel the country into the same league as OPEC states.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 3:40:46 PM EDT

Link Posted: 6/6/2008 3:41:27 PM EDT
Sounds like that oil is in international waters.....  maybe we should do to their oil the same that the Chinese are doing to ours off the coast of Florida!
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 3:44:17 PM EDT
I think they need to flesh out thier submarine strategies a little.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 4:52:16 PM EDT
One nuke-powered sub - to patrol local coastlines only - for the price of, what, maybe a dozen quieter diesel subs?
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 4:54:24 PM EDT
I guess I don't get it.  

It's not like you sneak an oil platform in during the dark of night, pump out a bunch of oil, and then run with your ill-gotten booty.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 4:54:27 PM EDT
Why just one?

What if it has to go to repair in port?

Link Posted: 6/6/2008 4:57:30 PM EDT
It's a status symbol. It makes little strategic sense, other than a move in a South American dick measuring contest.

The oil platforms are simply the excuse they're using to justify it to their ill-informed populace.
Link Posted: 6/6/2008 5:00:06 PM EDT
Wouldn't it be easier to arm the workers who work on the oil platforms instead of relying on a submarine?
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