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Top oil firms eye Brazilian stakes in US

Shell, Chevron and BP target Petrobras blocs in Gulf Mexico

Top oil firms eye Brazilian stakes in US
Saint Malo, Stone and Tiber oil projects have aroused considerable interest, as well as the Cascade and Chinook oil fields.

A Brazilian oil giant is seeking to speed up its sale of oil exploration projects abroad, arousing the appetite of some of the world’s top companies in the sector.

Petrobras is seeking to part with some of its overseas stakes. This includes its refinery in Pasadena, Texas and a 48.5 per cent share of the Argentine electric energy distributor Edesur

Petrobras is staging an attempt to cash in USD 14.8bn and prioritise investments in a not yet self-sufficient Brazilian market, of which Petrobras accounts for 94.7 per cent of oil and gas production. These investments mainly include the Santos Basin, with the Brazilian company also aiming to meet its USD 236.5bn investment goal by 2015. However, oil giants have set their sights on Petrobras’ projects in the northern area of the Gulf of Mexico, sources told Reuters.

Chinese mainland oil giant Sinopec has officially expressed its interest in the Brazilian company’s gulf projects and reportedly sent representatives to assess the blocs. Sources further stated Petrobras’ regional partners Shell, Chevron, BP and Exxon have also stepped up to the plate, with banks having already been contracted to intermediate the negotiations.

The areas arousing the biggest interest include the Chevron-operated Saint Malo project, Shell’s Stone and BP’s Tiber projects, where the Brazilian oil giant holds a 25, 25 and 20 per cent stake, respectively.

The Cascade and Chinook oil fields – Petrobras’ “crown jewels” in the gulf – have also sparked considerable attention. Holding a 100 per cent stake in Cascade and 66.7 per cent in Chinook, Petrobras was unwilling to let go of these projects at first, but is currently considering their sale as the need to fulfil its investment plans increases.

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