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Brazil’s state owned oil company, Petrobras, has begun its plan to divest itself of secondary assets and redirect investment to higher-return activities such as exploration and production as part of a five-year, $236.7 billion capital spending plan; the largest ever corporate investment plan in the world.
Petrobras will soon launch an auction to sell its interests in Nigerian oil fields, hoping to raise as much as $5 billion. Standard Chartered will run the auction process, which is set to begin within the next two months, with state controlled Asian companies expected to prove popular bidders as they try to add production assets to secure oil and natural gas supplies in the future.
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The assets to be sold include an 8% stake in the offshore Agbami blocks, which began operation in 2008, produces 250,000 barrels a day, and holds estimated reserves of 900 million barrels; and a 20% stake in the offshore Akpo block, which was opened in 2009, produces 175,000 barrels a day of light condensate oil and 9 million cubic metres of gas, with estimated reserves of 620 million barrels of oil, and more than 28 billion cubic metres of gas.
By parting with assets such as those in Nigeria, Petrobras can focus on developing fields off the Brazilian coastline, where the deepwater, subsalt region, is estimated to contain tens of billions of barrels of high-quality oil.
Maria das Graças Foster, the Petrobras CEO, has set a goal of raising $9.9 billion through asset sales this year.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com