Petrobras board approves $2.1bn in asset sales

Petrobras17 August 2013, News Wires – The board of directors of Brazil’s Petrobras on Friday approved a flurry of transactions – including the sale of the company’s Cottonwood field in the Gulf of Mexico and Block BC-10 in the Campos basin – for total proceeds of $2.1 billion.

The announcement comes as Petrobras tries to complete the bulk of $9 billion in planned divestitures by the end of the year in order to fund the world’s largest capital expenditure programme.

In a statement late on Friday, Petrobras said the way had been cleared for the “alienation” of its 35% stake in Block BC-10, also known as Parque das Conchas, for $ 1.54 billion. The buyer is Sinochem Group of China.

The block is located around 100 kilometres off the southern coast of Espirito Santo state. Partners include operator Shell on 50% stake, and ONGC of India on 15%. The partners have right of first refusal, to be exercised within 30 days.

Petrobras also agreed to sell its entire stake in three Gulf of Mexico blocks, including Mississippi Canyon 613 (Coulomb), Garden Banks Block 244 (Cottonwood) and Ewing Banks Block 910.

The company sold its 33% staking in the Mississippi Canyon block, where Shell operates on 67%. It sold its 60% stake in Ewing Banks, where W&T Offshore operates on 40%. And it sold its 100% operated stake in the Cottonwood field.

The buyers were not disclosed. The sale of the Gulf of Mexico stakes brought in $185 million for Petrobras.

Petrobras also said on Friday that it had shut in production in the face of a low-pressure system in the southern Gulf of Mexico, the first operator to do so.

The board also agreed to sell its 100% stake in petchem outfit Innova to Videolar and its majority shareholder for $372 million, including the assumption of debt.

Petrobras bought Innova for $332 million in 2011.

– Upstream

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