As with most other statements related to the NSA made by the Obama Administration over the past several months, claims that they never used the surveillance behemoth to conduct industrial espionage has proven to be a lie, with the revelation that they conducted surveillance of Brazil’s largest oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro, also known as Petrobras (NYSE: PBR-A).
Brazilian media reported that a new round of leaks of NSA training material showed the agency bragged repeatedly about monitoring Petrobras, though the exact extent of the surveillance is not yet clear.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff confirmed the report, saying the NSA had been spying on the company for “economic” reasons, adding that there was no way for the US to paint Petrobras as a “threat” to American national security.
But it’s an economic power, with $144 billion in revenue last year and access to several offshore “mega fields” that could make them one of the world’s largest oil suppliers. Though the data is still lacking, most market speculation is that the NSA surveillance principally targeted the company’s data on offshore drilling.