DBO Energy takes pole position in Petrobras deepwater sale, sources say
Golfinho is one of dozens of legacy production assets that Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the company is formally known, is selling in a bid to reduce debt and sharpen its focus on a prolific, deepwater formation called the ‘pre-salt.
RIO DE JANEIRO, – DBO Energy, an oil and gas firm backed by Germany’s RWE AG, is in bilateral talks with Petrobras to buy the Golfinho oilfield cluster in Brazil, two sources said, as the state-run oil company kicks its ambitious divestment program back into gear.
Golfinho is one of dozens of legacy production assets that Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the company is formally known, is selling in a bid to reduce debt and sharpen its focus on a prolific, deepwater formation called the ‘pre-salt.’
The company struggled to deleverage for most of last year, as the pandemic sapped demand for oil-producing assets. But in recent months, Petrobras has sped back up its asset sales, accepting binding offers for a number of major assets, including five refineries and an onshore oilfield cluster known as Urucu.
Both Petrobras and DBO declined to comment.
Golfinho, a mature, deepwater cluster located off the coast of Espirito Santo state, was among the last major production assets that Petrobras put on the block before COVID-19 hit Brazil in earnest.
The cluster was producing 14,900 barrels of oil and condensate per day, according to January 2020 bidding documents.
One person involved in the deal said the parties were discussing dollar values in the nine-digit range.
Any deal is still months from closing, the source added.
Norway’s BW Energy Ltd was among the firms that mulled a bid, but ultimately decided not to make a binding offer, according to another source, as well as a third source with knowledge of the matter. All the sources requested anonymity to discuss confidential matters.
BW did not respond to a request for comment.
Rio de Janeiro-based DBO is composed of Brazilian and Norwegian executives who have experience operating mature assets both in Brazil and in the North Sea, according to the company’s website. The firm lists RWE Supply & Trading, an arm of RWE, as an investor. (Reporting by Gram Slattery and Marta Nogueira Editing by Brad Haynes and Rosalba O’Brien)