Until the 1970 s in Brazil, a fishing village by the name of Macaé was untraceable on the map. During that decade, petroleum was discovered in Campos basin located at sea outside of the city. The state-led enterprise Petróleo Brasiliero SA, commonly known as Petrobrás, saw the existing fishing docks in Macaé as an opportunity. The construction of an operational base and in the city, functioning as the main offshore provider to the petroleum extraction, attracted both national and international attention. To develop even further, the municipality accentuated private and public cooperation in the city to become a much desired international hub. Today, the city is known to be The National Petroleum Capital . The boom of accelerated change in sectors such as real estate, hotels, consumer goods and services, and catering created several job opportunities for residents, causing an enormous increase of migration to the city. Diverse languages are spoken on the street, and English education is attractive in order to communicate with the foreigner. Based on five months of fieldwork conducted in Macaé during spring 2014, this dissertation explore the diverse possibilities and limitations people experienced due to change as a consequence of petroleum activity. In doing so, it is based on the principles of inequality relating to socioeconomic statuses, to further draw comparisons in the literature concerning flexibility and the good life. The petroleum industry may produce prosperity and wealth for several individuals, yet it also strengthens inequality in Macaé. The impact of occurring changes in the city generates an ambiguity among the population, requiring some people to adapt to the changes, while others shield their privileges. The complexities to manoeuvre within the city will show that flexibility is positive when connected to an aspiration to change, but can prove negative when the desire is to maintain the current situation. In these aspirations and desires, the idea of the good life concerning lifestyle and subjective agency are explored according to the potential of change individual according to socioeconomic differences experience.