NORWEGIAN oil giant Statoil has agreed to pay Brazil’s Petrobras US$2.5bn for a 66% stake in an offshore oil licence in Brazil’s Santos basin.
The deal includes a substantial part of the Carcará oil discovery straddling the BM-S-8 and open acreage regions, one of the world’s largest discoveries in recent years. It is also Statoil’s largest acquisition in five years as it looks to strengthen international operations outside of declining North Sea operations.
Statoil estimates the recoverable volumes within the BM-S-8 licence to be in the range of 700m–1.3bn bbl. The licence is in its final exploration phase with one remaining exploration commitment well to be drilled by 2018. The neighbouring open acreage portion of the field is up for licence in 2017, which Statoil also expressed interest in acquiring.
Eldar Sætre, CEO of Statoil, said: “The Carcará field will significantly enhance our international production volumes in the 2020s and beyond.”
For Petrobras, the deal will edge it closer to its US$15bn target for asset sales this year as it aims to cut US$126bn of debt, according to the FT. The company is facing shareholder lawsuits over its role in a bribery scandal, which forced the company to write off US$2bn in costs, and saw the resignation of its former CEO Maria das Graças Silva Foster in 2015.
Petrobras said it has been achieving significant savings in the development of the basin through international cooperation and equipment sharing across similar projects.
Petrobras will receive half of the funds upon the closing of the transaction, with the rest paid in instalments throughout the project.
Both companies are currently in discussions regarding further cooperation in new projects in the Campos and Espírito Santo basins, as well as existing projects in the region.
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