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Petrobras enters Australia via MEO JV

quarta-feira, 19 de outubro de 2011 - 13:10
postado por Younger Intercâmbio

BRAZILIAN national oil giant Petrobras will make its first Australian foray by paying up to $US80 million to take a 50 per cent stake in an exploration permit offshore Western Australia.

The deal, which could involve more milestone payments to the Brazilian’s partner MEO Australia

will give Petrobras a foothold in an Australian gas market that’s fast developing into a major global export player, thanks largely to sustained demand for energy from fast-growing Asian economies.

MEO has been searching for a partner to help it develop its acreage in the Carnarvon Basin, located on Australia’s gas-rich North West Shelf, for over a year and market watchers had suspected that Petrobras could be in the running.

Its Artemis prospect could contain up to 12 trillion cubic feet of gas, according to MEO. That would be more than enough to support a stand-alone liquefied natural gas export project, or provide a bountiful third party gas supply source to other LNG projects in the area.

Exploration success, however, isn’t guaranteed and MEO got disappointing results from its first exploration well there, Zeus-1, early in 2009.

Petrobras will buy 50 per cent of the permit WA-360-P by funding up to $US41m of the first well’s costs, paying MEO $US31.5m cash and covering about $US7.5m of MEO’s share of previous costs, adding up to $US80m in total.

In the event of a successful discovery, Petrobras will pay for two follow-up wells to a cap of $US62m and another $US31.5m cash to MEO in January 2011, MEO said in a statement.

MEO will remain operator until completion of the first well, Artemis-1, and then Petrobras has the option to assume operatorship.

An option has been secured over a drilling rig to drill the first well in late 2010, MEO said.

Petrobras’ investment had been held up after a minority holder in the exploration permit,Cue Energy Resources requested changes to some of the deal’s provisions.

MEO said today that Petrobras taking 50 per cent of the permit will reduce its holding to 20 per cent. Cue and Moby Oil & Gas will retain their 15 per cent holdings, MEO said.

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