BW Offshore preferred bidder for the offshore Golfinho cluster

BW Offshore may acquire another asset in Petrobras’ divestment program. Industry sources confirmed to PetroleoHoje that the Norwegian oil company was recently selected as the preferred bider for the Golfinho cluster, a deep-water package in the Espírito Santo Basin.

Although BW Offshore does not comment on the subject, the company’s proposal would have been around tens of millions of dollars. The package includes the Golfinho and Canapu fields plus the exploratory area of ​​BM-ES-23, in which Petrobras maintains a 65% stake, operating the asset in partnership with PTTEP (20%) and Inpex (15%).

The exact amount of the transaction still depends on the terms of the abandonment requirements. The choice of BW Offshore as the preferred bidder has already been approved by Petrobras’ Board of Directors.

BW Offshore’s bid debunked 3R Petroleum’s bid. The two oil companies would have been the only ones to participate in the dispute for the asset, which had the teaser launched in January 2020.

With the recent decision, Petrobras and BW Offshore have already started the first negotiations aimed at the direct negotiations of the contracts for the purchase and sale of the Golfinho cluster. The projection is that the final stage of the process will take about six months, advancing through 2022.

The Espírito Basin cluster is located in a water depth between 1,300 m and 2,200 m. The Golfinho field produces oil, while Canapu produces non-associated gas.

Golfinho produced 12,800 boe/day in July, of which 12,100 barrels/day of oil and 104 m³/day of gas. Canapu, on the other hand, had production interrupted by Petrobras in March 2019.

Considered a small margin system, Golfinho cluster is such a challenging project. Industry executives believe that it will be essential for the future operator to invest in discovering new upsides to expand not only the production volume but also the useful life of the asset.

The asset’s most successful potential is focused on the Parque dos Doces area, located at BM-ES-23.

The project is operated by the FPSO Cidade de Vitória, which belongs to Saipem and has the capacity to produce 100,000 barrels/day of oil. The production unit charter contract expires in 2022.

As the BW group has a fleet of FPSOs without contracts, it will not be surprising if the purchase of the asset is effectively closed with Petrobras that the Norwegian oil company evaluates the possibility of using a unit of its fleet. The market’s bet is that the outcome will depend essentially on the final price offered by Saipem for the renewal of the charter contract.

The Golfinho field started operations in 2007; being seen at the time as the great promise of the deep waters of the Espírito Santo Basin. Betting on the potential of the project, Petrobras even chartered two production units, also allocating SBM’s FPSO Capixaba, and given the low response of the reservoir, the platform vessel was relocated two years later to operate in Parque das Baleias.

The system currently has six wells for oil production, two for gas production and two for water injection connected to the FPSO Cidade de Vitória. The gas produced is exported through a 12’’ diameter pipeline to the Cacimbas Gas Treatment Unit for processing.

If the operation between the two companies is effectively formalized, BW Offshore will start operating two offshore projects in Brazil. In 2019, the Norwegian oil company acquired the Maromba field, in the Campos Basin, which was also negotiated in Petrobras’ divestment program.

The terms of the Golfinho and Canapu concessions expire in 2031 and 2032, respectively. Petrobras had internal plans to upgrade the local subsea network, scheduling the interconnection of new producing wells to increase the asset’s production.

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank is providing financial advisory services for the sale of the Golfinho asset. This is not the first time that Petrobras has tried to divest the deep water field in Espírito Santo.

Before this initiative, the Brazilian oil company carried out two other attempts. The first attempt to sell the asset was made in 2015, along with other fields, and tried again two years later in 2017.

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