Petrobras Upstream asset sales guarantees entry of new producers in Brazil

Aug 8, 2019

The sale of Petrobras assets is confirming to be an opportunity to pulverize the number of oil and gas producers in the country. Today, less than 7% of national production is in the hands of private companies, but the scenario is expected to change soon.

Only with divestments confirmed between January and July 2019, four companies gained the opportunity to contribute to Brazilian production. One of them was Karoon, an Australian company that was already present in the country with exploratory assets, but after buying 100% of the Baúna area in the Santos Basin for US $ 665 million, will also accumulate the operation of a field in production.

At present, the field has six producing wells, three water and one gas injectors, but has suffered from declining production due to the need for repairs to a submersible pump. Karoon expects to increase area production from the current 20,000 b / d to 33,000 b / d after $ 130 million in investments, with an initial focus on Patola’s prospect.

By 2022 the company intends to connect the FPSO Cidade de Itajaí, which is already in the field, to two new wells to be drilled in the area. Karoon expects in the future to increase field recovery opportunities and improve portfolio management. The company also sees the possibility of identifying undeveloped reserves and, therefore, must conduct a 4D seismic campaign in the area.

“This asset was among the cheapest production areas in South America and we have been paying attention to it for years,” commented CEO Robert Hosking after the acquisition.

Karoon also intends to create synergies between the newly purchased field and the areas it operates in the country and recently declared commerciality for Neon and Goia. The company has stated that it does not intend to maintain the current 100% portion of the asset concession and is looking for partners.

Another company that took the opportunity of Petrobras’ divestments to fulfill its desire to enter the Brazilian E&P market was Malaysian Petronas. The company had already shown interest for Brazil for years and negotiated in 2013 with the former OGX to buy a stake in two blocks in the Campos Basin, but the talks were interrupted at the time. Thus, only in April 2019 did Petronas obtain a stake of a Brazilian field, with the acquisition of 50% of Tartaruga Verde, which produces around 103,000 b / d of oil and 1.2 million m³ / d of gas. .

With a $ 1.29 billion deal, Petronas also secured a 50% stake in Espadarte Project Module 3, expected to go into production in 2021.

The purchase of fields from Petrobras has also proved to be a good deal for newcomers in the sector. Norwegian BW Offshore, which until 2017 was only engaged in vessel chartering, created an E&P division to employ its own FPSOs to develop areas. The company will have as one of its first assets the Maromba field in the Campos Basin, where it intends to invest US $ 250 million in a first phase of development.

The area is expected to go into production in the second half of 2022 following work to connect two or three wells to an FPSO operated by the company itself. For now, the forecast is to use the Berge Helene platform during this first phase, when production should be around 20,000 b / d. The expectation is to start a second phase of development between 2025 and 2028, when the company will be able to drill three or four producing wells and two other water injectors. However, the company has already said it can go looking for a partner before moving on to this new phase.

Another newcomer to the market will be Trident Energy, which recently announced the purchase of ten shallow water fields in the Campos Basin (Marimbá, Enchova, Bonito, Enchova Oeste, Bicudo, Pirauna, Badejo, Pampo, Linguado and Trilha), in the Pampo and Enchova clusters with a bid of $ 1 billion.

Founded in 2017, based in London, the company explains that it intends to invest in the redevelopment of mature fields, focusing on extending asset life through improvements to existing infrastructure and data reinterpretation to increase production and find new reservations. Until then, the company operated only one field in Equatorial Guinea, in the Ceiba area. With the acquisition in Brazil, Trident will assume the operation of seven platforms that together deliver about 38.7 thousand boe / d. The areas were among the first to come into operation on Brazilian offshore.

It appears that even more companies may have opportunities to follow suit, as other Petrobras fields are in the process of selling and others may enter in the coming months as the company strives to reach the $ 26.9 billion target by 2023. Since January the company has started the selling process of 27 other areas at the Cricaré cluster, 14 at the Recôncavo cluster, eight at the Rio Ventura cluster, three at the Peroá cluster and four at the Tucano Sul cluster.

Source: Brasil Energia Magazine



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