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Petrobras puts Para-Maranhao exploration blocks up for sale

February 06/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brazilian state-led oil company Petrobras put two exploration blocks in the highly prospective Para-Maranhao Basin that holds similarities to major equatorial margin discoveries off the coasts of Guyana and Suriname further to the north, Petrobras said in a sales offer sent out to potential investors Tuesday, reported S&P Global.

Petrobras plans to sell its 100% stake in the BM-PAMA-3 concession and 80% stake in the BM-PAMA-8 concession. Chinese state-run oil company Sinopec retains the remaining 20% stake in the BM-PAMA-8 concession and could exercise its preferential right to buy Petrobras' stake, according to the teaser.

The latest sales offer represents a rapid expansion of the volume of oil and natural gas exploration and production assets, with Petrobras adding four other separate assets up for sale since January 1 amid uncertainties about how much the company will raise from the sale of eight of its 13 refineries. Petrobras targeted $20 billion-$30 billion worth of asset sales over the next five years under its 2020-2024 investment plan, but company officials said that additional oil fields could be added to raise more cash if needed.

Petrobras previously put the Golfinho and Camarupim fields up for sale in January, then this week put its 62.5% operating stake in the Papa-Terra Field on the auction block. Chevron also agreed to tag along and sell its 37.5% minority stake, the company said late Monday.

The asset sales are part of a broader overhaul of Petrobras' exploration-and-production portfolio, with the company previously putting more than 100 mature onshore and shallow-water offshore fields on the auction block. Some of the areas were sold previously or remaining in the sales process, but Petrobras has now moved to include higher-quality mature assets in the deep waters of the Campos Basin that still hold some upside.

Petrobras wants to move away from many of its heavy oil legacy assets, except for massive fields such as Roncador and Marlim, to focus on development of the larger subsalt fields, where a single well can average more than 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent.

The BM-PAMA-3 concession is currently in the discovery evaluation phase, with Petrobras studying the Harpia find, the company said. Under terms of the existing concession contract, potential investors will need to commit to drilling a single well, with a formation test contingent on results of the exploration well, Petrobras said.

The BM-PAMA-8 concession, meanwhile, is divided into the PAMA-M-192 and PAMA-M-194 blocks, according to Petrobras. The concession is currently in the second exploration phase, with the winning bidders required to commit to drilling a single well in the PAMA-M-192 block, Petrobras said.

Interested bidders must be qualified or able to qualify as an A operator under criteria established by the National Petroleum Agency, Petrobras said. The deadline for submitting qualification documents and confidentiality agreements is February 28, Petrobras said.

As MRC wrote earlier, the chief executive of Brazilian state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro said in December 2019 he wants to sell the company's stake in petrochemical company Braskem within 12 months.

We also remind that Braskem is no longer pursuing a petrochemical project, which would have included an ethane cracker, in West Virginia. And the company is seeking to sell the land that would have housed the cracker. The project, announced in 2013, had been on Braskem's back burner for several years.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,904,410 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2019, up by 6% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. PE shipments increased from both domestic producers and foreign suppliers. The PP consumption in the Russian market was 1,161,830 tonnes in January-November 2019, up by 7% year on year. Deliveries of all grades of propylene polymers increased, with the homopolymer PP segment accounting for the largest increase.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Petrobras is an integrated energy firm. Petrobras' activities include exploration, exploitation and production of oil from reservoir wells, shale and other rocks as well as refining, processing, trade and transport of oil and oil products, natural gas and other fluid hydrocarbons, in addition to other energy-related activities.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, PP random copolymer, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, Braskem, Petrobras, Brazil, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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