RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian state oil company Petrobras said on Monday it had completed two transactions involving the transfer of rights to two deepwater concessions in the Atlantic Ocean to French oil major Total.
“Petrobras and Total announce today that they have finalized a decisive milestone in the realization of their Strategic Alliance, signed in March 2017,” the companies said in a joint press release.
Both concessions are located in Brazil’s offshore Santos Basin and have proven reserves in the pre-salt region, a recently discovered oil frontier located below thick layers of rocks and salt under the sea bed that, if successfully developed, could transform Brazil into one of the world’s largest crude exporters.
In the first transaction, Petrobras transferred 35 percent of the rights and operatorship of the Lapa field in Block BM-S-9A, in which Total now has a 35 percent stake, Royal Dutch Shell has 30 percent, Spanish-Chinese joint venture Repsol-Sinopec has 25 percent and Petrobras has 10 percent.
The field was brought into production in late 2016 by a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit with a 100,000-barrel-per-day capacity.
In the second transaction, Petrobras transferred to Total a 22.5 percent stake in the Iara area, which comprises the Sururu, Berbigão and Oeste de Atapu fields in Block BM-S-11A.
Petrobras remains the operator of that block with a 42.5 percent stake, while Shell has 25 percent and Portugal’s Galp Energia has 10 percent.
Production in Iara is expected to start in 2018 at the Berbigão and Sururu fields once an FPSO with a production capacity of 150,000 barrels per day begins operating.
Petrobras will receive $1.95 billion from Total for the rights to those stakes.
“This amount does not include $400 million that can be triggered by Petrobras to carry a part of its investment share in the Iara development fields and contingent payments,” the Brazilian company said.
Asset sales are one of the tools Petrobras plans to use to become leaner and adjust to a more adverse scenario brought about by a drop in global oil prices in recent years and to the company’s lower revenue and severe financial problems.