Petrobras, Total formalize alliance
Petrobras and Total have signed definitive contracts on various assets covered by their strategic alliance, defined late last year.
This seals the alliance, with the two companies forming new partnerships in the upstream and downstream sectors, and agreeing to a strengthened technical cooperation covering operations, research, and technology.
They plan to combine their international expertise on all segments of the oil and gas value chain inBrazil and internationally.
Petrobras will transfer 22.5% of rights to Total in the Iara concession area in block BM-S-11 in the presalt Santos basin offshore Brazil. This comprises the Sururu, Berbigão and Oeste de Atapu fields which are under unitization with the Entorno de Iara, a transfer of rights area in which Petrobras holds a 100% interest.
Under the transaction, Petrobras remains operator with a 42.5% interest. Bringing in Total will allow the company to reduce its investment and benefit from technological solutions that the duo will evaluate jointly, the aims being to maximize profitability and the volume of oil to be recovered.
Other partners in the consortium are Shell subsidiary BG E&P Brasil and Petrogal Brasil.
Elsewhere in the Santos basin, Petrobras will transfer 35% and operatorship to Total of theLapa field concession area in block BM-S-9, with Petrobras retaining a 10% stake.
Lapa started production last December. Total, as new operator, plans to transfer its experience in deep-offshore projects elsewhere to the next phases of development: Lapa has characteristics that are different from other presalt fields.
Other partners are BG E&P Brasil and Repsol-Sinopec Brasil.
Aside from these arrangements, Petrobras has an option under the alliance to purchase a 20% interest in block 2 of the Perdido Foldbelt area offshore Mexico. The partners will also consider joint exploration studies off Equatorial Margin and in the Santos basin, and a technological partnership agreement in the areas of digital petrophysics, geological processing, and subsea production systems.
Under the transaction, Total will pay Petrobras $2.225 billion comprising $1.675 billion cash for assets and services, $400 million that can be triggered to carry a part of Petrobras’ share of investment in the Iara fields, and $150 million as contingent payments.
The conclusion of the deal is subject to approvals by the relevant regulatory entities, potential exercise of preemptive rights by current Iara partners and other conditions.
Currently, Petrobras and Total participate jointly in 19 consortiums worldwide in exploration and production, including development of the giant Libra field under the first production-sharing contract in the presalt Santos basin.
Outside Brazil, they are partners in the Chinook field in the US Gulf of Mexico, and in the deepwaterAkpo field off Nigeria.