Oil traders line up for a slice of Petro­bras

The Mercury - - NEWS -

THE WORLD’S three largest oil traders are com­pet­ing to buy the African arm of Brazil’s Petro­bras that owns stakes in two ma­jor Nige­rian off­shore oil blocks, in­dus­try and bank­ing sources with knowl­edge of the mat­ter said, af­ter sub­mit­ting bids ear­lier this month.

Last Novem­ber, state-con­trolled Petroleo Brasileiro, known as Petro­bras, launched the sale of 100 per­cent of Petro­bras Oil & Gas, or Petro­bras Africa, as part of the heav­ily-in­debted com­pany’s plan to of­fload $21 bil­lion (R262.41bn) in as­sets in 2018, as it also faces a mas­sive cor­rup­tion scan­dal.

Petro­bras holds half the shares in the com­pany, while 40 per­cent are held by a sub­sidiary of Grupo BTG Pac­tual and 10 per­cent by He­lios In­vest­ment Part­ners. Bankers have pre­vi­ously es­ti­mated the value of the Petro­bras ven­ture to be about $2bn.

The ven­ture has stakes in two off­shore blocks that con­tain two pro­duc­ing fields, the ma­jor Ag­bami field in OML 127, op­er­ated by a lo­cal Chevron af­fil­i­ate, and the Akpo field in OML 130 op­er­ated by To­tal.

The sale has at­tracted the top trad­ing firms which are al­ways on the hunt for longterm crude sup­plies. Mer­cu­ria and BP had also its po­ten­tial.

In early May, three con­sor­tiums, in­clud­ing the ma­jor trad­ing com­pa­nies, submitted bids to buy Petro­bras Africa.

Vi­tol bid to­gether with the oil up­stream sub­sidiary of US pri­vate eq­uity firm War­burg Pin­cus called Delonex and Cana­dian-listed Africa En­ergy Cor­po­ra­tion, an oil and gas ex­plo­ration firm that is part of Swe­den’s Lundin Group.

Glen­core joined with Nige­rian listed firm Se­plat and French firm Mau­rel & Prom that is ma­jor­ity-owned by the In­done­sian govern­ment.

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