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Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…

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Exxon Mobil In Talks With Petrobras For New Offshore Joint Venture


Brazil’s deepwater oil fields could be Exxon Mobil’s newest playground, according to a recent report by The Wall Street Journal.

A proposed joint venture between Exxon and state-run Petrobras would allow the American company a major stake in an offshore project in Brazil.

Hess Corp., also American company, is working with Exxon on another project in the same South American country. Last year, Brazil revised its laws to attract new foreign direct investment as the national budget suffered from more than two years of low oil prices.

National oil output and exports are on the rise, according to recent data released by ANP, Brazil’s energy regulator. February oil production touched 2.676 million barrels per day, while natural gas output rose 9.2 percent compared to the same month last year.

Brasilia reported that a concurring surge in oil exports was a function of higher production from the offshore areas in Brazilian waters, where huge oil finds were made in the pre-salt and sub-salt layers in the past few years.

Brazil announced last week that it expected to see its first profits from projects finalized under new profit-sharing agreements (PSAs) in September.

The PSAs were introduced by the government of Ignacio Lula da Silva to replace previous royalty payments and to ensure that the state gets a bigger portion of the revenues derived from the deposits in Brazil’s pre-salt layer.

Related: Are Mexico’s Oil Reserves Almost Depleted?

New tenders over the course of the next two years will operate under frameworks that Brazilian regulatory agencies are currently overhauling.

"In Brazil right now, we are going to relaunch our industry,” according to Milton Cosa Filho, of the Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute (OBP). “In 2017, we are going to have four bid rounds and in 2018 we will have three bid rounds. We are going to need lots of construction companies, and this is a good opportunity. Now is the perfect time to jump into the Brazilian market.”

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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