Brazil
Analysis

Why Petrobras failed to sell a 50% stake in a major offshore hub

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, April 06, 2022
Why Petrobras failed to sell a 50% stake in a major offshore hub

The high price and the fact that Petrobras would remain the operator are likely to be behind the decision to abort the sale process of the Marlim offshore hub operated by the Brazilian federal oil company, local sources told BNamericas.

The setback is the second for the state-run firm’s upstream divestment program in less than three months, following the failure to sell the Urucu project. 

Located in deep waters of the Campos basin, off the country’s southeast coast, the Marlim complex comprises the Marlim, Marlim Leste, Marlim Sul and Voador fields, which together produced 225,000boe/d in January, according to watchdog ANP

Petrobras began the sale of half of its 100% stake in Marlim in November 2020, and, a month later, launched the non-binding phase, where potential buyers receive guidelines for preparing and submitting proposals. But the process never got to the final stage, where bids are presented. 

In a statement on Monday, Petrobras said that, considering the alignment of the concessions with the company's strategy and the improvement of its economic-financial indicators, the Marlim complex was kept fully in the company’s portfolio, with its production already incorporated in its 2022-26 strategic plan.

The plan involves two new FPSOs in Marlim, Anna Nery and Anita Garibaldi, while eight floating units will be retrieved from the area. 

BNamericas spoke with top executives at private sector oil companies in Brazil, who attributed the failure to a possible increase in the asset’s value amid the rise in oil and gas prices and to the fact that Petrobras would remain as the leader of the consortium. 

“There was no interest in buying half a large field that was going to continue to be operated by Petrobras,” an executive said, asking not to be named. 

“The rise in [oil] prices has made Petrobras increase its prices a lot. They are playing too hard, and then the interested parties end up giving up,” said another. 

“It’s possible that Petrobras has tried to include new items to compensate for the rise in [oil] prices, and this may have cooled the talks,” a third source commented. 

In the case of Ucuru, in the Solimões basin, Petrobras and Eneva terminated negotiations mostly because they could not reach an agreement on the price, which is said to have been pushed to up to 8bn reais (currently US$1.7bn). 

The termination of the Urucu divestment came despite the fact Petrobras was selling its entire interest in what is the country’s largest onshore production complex, with output of around 100,000boe/d.

In recent years, Petrobras managed to partially sell, without transferring its operating status, a total of six fields: Berbigão, Oeste de Atapu and Sururu in the Santos basin pre-salt to TotalEnergies; Tartaruga Verde and Espadarte (Módulo III), in Campos to Petronas; and Roncador, also in Campos, to Equinor.

Excluding Marlim, the company is currently selling 100% of 35 offshore fields and three exploration blocks, in addition to stakes in 12 blocks. 

Onshore, Petrobras is divesting 100% of 35 fields and 27 exploration blocks. 

 

PETROBRAS' UPSTREAM DIVESTMENTS 

Asset Type Basin Environment Status
ALBACORA Field Campos Offshore 100% for sale
ALBACORA LESTE Field Campos Offshore 100% for sale
ANEQUIM Field Campos Offshore 100% for sale
ARAÇÁS Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
Arara Azul Field Solimões Onshore 100% for sale
Araracanga Field Solimões Onshore 100% for sale
ATUM Field Ceará Offshore 100% for sale
BAGRE Field Campos Offshore 100% for sale
BM-ES-23 Block Espírito Santo Offshore 100% for sale
BM-PAMA-3  Block Pará-Maranhão Offshore Partially for sale
BM-S-51 Block Santos Offshore 100% for sale
BM-SEAL-10

Block Sergipe-Alagoas Offshore Partially for sale
BM-SEAL-11

Block Sergipe-Alagoas Offshore Partially for sale
BM-SEAL-4 Block Sergipe-Alagoas Offshore Partially for sale
BM-SEAL-4A Block Sergipe-Alagoas Offshore Partially for sale
BURACICA Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
CAIOBA Field Sergipe-Alagoas Offshore 100% for sale
Camarupim Field Espírito Santo Offshore 100% for sale
Camarupim Norte Field Espírito Santo Offshore 100% for sale
CAMORIM Field Sergipe-Alagoas Offshore 100% for sale
CANAPU Field Espírito Santo Offshore 100% for sale
Canário da Terra Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
Canário da Terra Sul Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
Cantagalo Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
CARAPANAÚBA Field Solimões Onshore 100% for sale
Catuá Field Campos Offshore 100% for sale
CHERNE Field Campos Offshore 100% for sale
CIDADE DE ENTRE RIOS Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
CONGRO Field Campos Offshore 100% for sale
CORVINA Field Campos Offshore 100% for sale
CUPIÚBA Field Solimões Onshore 100% for sale
CURIMÃ Field Ceará Offshore 100% for sale
DOURADO Field Sergipe-Alagoas Offshore 100% for sale
ES-M-596 Block Espírito Santo Offshore Partially for sale
ES-M-598 Block Espírito Santo Offshore Partially for sale
ES-M-671 Block Espírito Santo Offshore Partially for sale
ES-M-673 Block Espírito Santo Offshore Partially for sale
ES-M-743 Block Espírito Santo Offshore Partially for sale
ESPADA Field Ceará Offshore 100% for sale
ES-T-506 Block Espírito Santo Onshore 100% for sale
ES-T-516 Block Espírito Santo Onshore 100% for sale
FAZENDA ALVORADA Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
FAZENDA AZEVEDO Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
FAZENDA BÁLSAMO Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
FAZENDA BOA ESPERANÇA Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
FAZENDA IMBÉ Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
FAZENDA PANELAS Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
GAROUPA Field Campos Offshore 100% for sale
GAROUPINHA Field Campos Offshore 100% for sale
GOLFINHO Field Espírito Santo Offshore 100% for sale
GUARICEMA Field Sergipe-Alagoas Offshore 100% for sale
Guriatã Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
Guriatã Sul Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
JANDAIA Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
LAGOSTA Field Santos Offshore 100% for sale
LAMARÃO Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
LEODÓRIO Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
LESTE DO URUCU Field Solimões Onshore 100% for sale
MALHADO Field Campos Offshore 100% for sale
MALOMBÊ Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
MANATI Field Camamu Offshore 100% for sale
MANDACARU Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
MASSAPÊ Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
MERLUZA Field Santos Offshore 100% for sale
NAMORADO Field Campos Offshore 100% for sale
PAMA-M-192 (BM-PAMA-8) Block Pará-Maranhão Offshore Partially for sale
PAMA-M-194 (BM-PAMA-8) Block Pará-Maranhão Offshore Partially for sale
PARATI Field Campos Offshore 100% for sale
PAR-T-175 Block Paraná Onshore 100% for sale
PAR-T-218 Block Paraná Onshore 100% for sale
PIRANEMA Field Sergipe-Alagoas Offshore 100% for sale
PIRANEMA SUL Field Sergipe-Alagoas Offshore 100% for sale
REC-T-32 Block Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
REC-T-40 Block Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
REC-T-50 Block Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
REC-T-51 Block Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
REC-T-52 Block Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
REC-T-60 Block Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
REC-T-61 Block Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
REC-T-70 Block Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
RIACHO DA BARRA Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
RIACHO OURICURI Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
RIO DA SERRA Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
RIO DO BU Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
RIO ITARIRI Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
Rio Sauípe Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
RIO URUCU Field Solimões Onshore 100% for sale
SEAL-T-112 Block Sergipe-Alagoas Onshore 100% for sale
SEAL-T-165 Block Sergipe-Alagoas Onshore 100% for sale
SEAL-T-177 Block Sergipe-Alagoas Onshore 100% for sale
SEAL-T-279 Block Sergipe-Alagoas Onshore 100% for sale
SEAL-T-280 Block Sergipe-Alagoas Onshore 100% for sale
SEAL-T-291 Block Sergipe-Alagoas Onshore 100% for sale
SEAL-T-292 Block Sergipe-Alagoas Onshore 100% for sale
SEAL-T-345 Block Sergipe-Alagoas Onshore 100% for sale
SEAL-T-346 Block Sergipe-Alagoas Onshore 100% for sale
SEAL-T-359 Block Sergipe-Alagoas Onshore 100% for sale
SEAL-T-360 Block Sergipe-Alagoas Onshore 100% for sale
SEAL-T-372 Block Sergipe-Alagoas Onshore 100% for sale
SEAL-T-383 Block Sergipe-Alagoas Onshore 100% for sale
SEAL-T-384 Block Sergipe-Alagoas Onshore 100% for sale
SEAL-T-61 Block Sergipe-Alagoas Onshore 100% for sale
SUDOESTE URUCU Field Solimões Onshore 100% for sale
Tambaú Field Santos Offshore 100% for sale
TANGARÁ Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
TAQUIPE Field Recôncavo Onshore 100% for sale
Tartaruga Field Sergipe Offshore 100% for sale
Tatuí Field Sergipe-Alagoas Offshore 100% for sale
Tayrona Block Colombia Offshore 100% for sale
Uruguá Field Santos Offshore 100% for sale
VIOLA Field Campos Offshore 100% for sale
XARÉU Field Ceará Offshore 100% for sale

Source: BNamericas based on Petrobras public data

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