NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A)  and Total (TOT) - Get Total SA Sponsored ADR Class B Report were directed by Brazil's oil regulator to accept Petrobras (PBR) - Get Petroleo Brasileiro SA Sponsored ADR Report as a partner in their Gato Do Mato offshore oil prospect under new Brazilian law, Reuters reports.

That could strip Shell of operational control of the resource. Magda Chambriard, Brazil's director general of oil regulation, appeared to contradict recent comments made by Brazilian government lawyers.

On Tuesday the lawyers said recent ANP regulations would allow Shell to remain as operator - or lead partner - in the area despite the 2010 law, Reuters said.

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Shares of Shell are slightly higher in after-hours trading. Total's shares closed slightly higher today.

TOT data by YCharts

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