RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) – Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras on Friday unveiled a huge share offering which could raise 64 billion dollars to help finance new exploration projects in the country.

Some 2.1 million common shares and 1.5 million preferred shares would be issued to help finance deepwater exploration, the company said in a statement.

If there is a heavy demand, the company said it was ready to raise the offer to around 74 billion dollars worth of shares.

The funds raised would represent a more than 40 percent increase in the company's capital, which on Thursday was estimated at 150 billion dollars.

In June the company said its daily production stood at 2.5 million barrels a day, with estimated reserves of 14 billion barrels.

But it also announced it had discovered a new reserve of light crude in deep offshore waters, estimated to contain 380 million barrels.

Petrobas says it holds some 25 percent of the world's deepwater operations, and Brazil in the past has said it has discovered new oil fields that could contain billions of barrels of oil.

But the country is not yet a member of the oil cartel, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

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