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Here's A Big Casualty Of The Oil Price Rout

Big reports emerging in the oil space this week. Showing that the recent fall in oil prices is spurring some major project shuffling from the world's leading firms.

The company in question is Shell--which recent filings suggest is close to a deal to divest long-time holdings in one of its key oil-producing regions. Offshore Brazil.

The company will reportedly sell its 80% stake in the Bijupira and Salema fields to Brazilian operator HRT. The price tag for the deal wasn't disclosed, but is likely to be significant given that production from these projects runs more than 30,000 barrels per day. Related: Corruption Scandal Threatens Brazilian Oil Developments

This represents a sizeable disposition for Shell. Showing that the major is motivated to rationalize assets and raise cash in today's lower price environment.

Even more significant than the assets themselves is the location. With Brazil having been a high-priority operating region for Shell over the past decade.

But this deal shows that even this core area isn't immune to cuts today. In fact, the decision from the major may have a lot to do with the fact that momentum behind many Brazilian plays had largely stalled out--even prior to the recent slide in crude prices. Related: If Shell Backs Out, Arctic Oil Off the Table for Years

It's important to note that both of the fields involved here are not part of the pre-salt play that has attracted a lot of attention in Brazil the last few years. But nonetheless, this is one more signal that the country is losing some of its luster. A fall that's only going to be accentuated by the new realities in the energy space.

All of that said, it's encouraging to see a buyer like HRT waiting in the wings. With the smaller firm reportedly having secured financing from Glencore to make this purchase. Watch for more such deals emerging in Brazil, and other oil hotspots around the globe.

Here's to a crude awakening,
Dave Forest

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