Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) has closed the acquisition of stakes in three exploratory blocks in São Tomé and Príncipe from Shell plc.
The Brazilian oil major has also signed amendments to the blocks’ production sharing contracts and joint operating agreements, becoming part of the consortia for the assets, it said in a recent news release.
Shell remains the operator of the assets with a 40 percent stake in each block, while Petrobras holds a 25 percent stake in Block 11 and a 45 percent stake each in Blocks 10 and 13. National oil company ANP-STP holds a 15 percent interest in each block, while Portuguese energy firm Galp Energia will own a 20 percent interest in Block 11. The financial details of the transactions were not disclosed.
“The operation marks the resumption of exploratory operations on the African continent, with the aim of diversifying the portfolio, and is in line with the company’s long-term strategy, aimed at restoring oil and gas reserves by exploring new frontiers and working in partnership”, Petrobras said in a statement.
2023 Production and Refinery Reports
Meanwhile, Petrobras reported a two percent quarter-over-quarter increase in the average production of oil, natural gas liquids (NGLs), and natural gas at 2.94 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) for the fourth quarter of 2023.
The result was achieved mainly due to the ramp-up of platform P-71 in the Itapu field, FPSO Almirante Barroso in the Búzios field, and FPSOs Anna Nery and Anita Garibaldi in the Marlim and Voador fields, the company said in a separate news release.
Petrobras’ four new wells from complementary Campos and Santos basin projects also contributed to the increase, the company added, noting that oil production in the pre-salt was 1.937 billion boepd, 3.5 percent higher sequentially. The company’s own production in the pre-salt, including natural gas, was 2.33 million boepd, representing 79 percent of its total production. The total production reached 4.05 million boepd per day, compared to its previous record of 3.98 million boepd in the third quarter of last year.
“The fourth quarter of 2023 consolidated the good results we achieved throughout the year. 2023 was a year of hard work and many successes and achievements for Petrobras. Records were set in several company areas, from E&P to Refining, crowning our team’s efforts”, Petrobras President Jean-Paul Prates said.
Petrobras said it had achieved all of its production projections for 2023, which had been revised upwards in November 2023. Its total annual oil and natural gas production, at 2.782 million boepd, was 3.7 percent higher than the production recorded in 2022. The company also achieved an annual record in operated production, with an average of 3.87 million boepd, 6.2 percent higher than in 2022.
On the refinery front, Petrobras in 2023 produced 23.3 million cubic meters of gasoline, 41.4 million cubic meters, and 7.1 million cubic meters of LPG.
The company’s total utilization factor, which considers the volume of processed oil load and the refinery reference load, reached 92 percent, according to the release.
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