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Statoil said it has agreed to buy a 66 percent stake in an offshore Petrobras field in the pre-salt layer. The field, Carcara, is located in the Campos Basin and is one of the biggest recent oil and gas discoveries globally. The deal is worth US$2.5 billion, the Norwegian company said.
Half of the US$2.5 billion is to be paid to Petrobras when the deal is sealed and the rest will be released at the reaching of certain milestones.
According to Statoil estimates, the Carcara field holds around 700-1,300 million barrels of oil equivalent. What’s more, the BM-S-8 license block, of which the Carcara is part, hold the promise of further hydrocarbon reserves.
“Through this acquisition we are accessing a world class asset, and we strengthen our position in Brazil, one of Statoil’s core areas due to its large resource base and excellent fit with our technology and capabilities, “ said Statoil’s chief executive Eldar Sætre.
The news of the acquisition comes days after Statoil reported a net loss of US$300 million for the second quarter of 2016, disappointing investors. The company attributed the negative result to diminishing refining revenues, pretty much like most of its peers. Statoil also admitted that things are not so great in the downstream segment, either, again reflecting an industry-wide trend.
Petrobras, for its part, has been desperate to sell assets and pay down debt as it struggles with the fallout of the huge corruption scandal involving senior executives of the company as well as high-ranking government officials. The Brazilian giant, too, has suffered the consequences of the prolonged oil price slump.
The pre-salt layer on Brazil’s continental shelf has proved to be an important focus of attention for international oil companies, which are increasingly focusing on deepwater drilling as onshore and shallower offshore fields start to get depleted.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.