Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras has reopened bidding for its Golfinho offshore oilfield cluster, two sources told Reuters this week, following a rise in crude prices over the last several months.
Golfinho is one of dozens of legacy production assets that Petrobras is selling to reduce debt and sharpen its focus on the prolific, deepwater presalt formation.
The company’s divestment strategy has been in some doubt following the replacement in April of former CEO Roberto Castello Branco with Joaquim Silva e Luna, a former army general. Luna has indicated that he intends to follow aspects of Petrobras’ current strategy but revealed little about any potential changes.
Still, there have been few reports of delays from potential buyers of Petrobras assets. On April 30, the company announced it was moving forward with the sale of two major pipeline units.
Petrobras had previously entered bilateral negotiations with DBO Energy, a local oil and gas firm backed by Germany’s RWE AG, to sell Golfinho, after DBO presented the highest offer in an open bidding round, Reuters reported in January.
Those talks did not result in a final deal, however, and Petrobras will accept a new round of offers from interested parties in late May, said the sources, who requested anonymity to discuss confidential matters.
DBO will likely place another bid and Norway’s BW Energy Ltd. is also in the hunt, the sources said. Sector-focused private equity firm Seacrest Capital expressed interest for Golfinho in past rounds, though its status in the most current round in unclear, the sources added.
Petrobras declined to comment. DBO, BW and Seacrest did not respond to comment requests.
In the new bidding round, Petrobras is divulging production information from a well drilled in 2020, which had not been previously available, the sources said.
The cluster was producing 14,900 barrels of oil and condensate per day, according to 2020 bidding documents, although production has been in decline.
The March 20 lease sale in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico brought in $244.3 million in high bids.
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