(PBR) Petrobras Acquires Stake in Gabon

Brazilian oil giant Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. or Petrobras (PBR) has acquired 50% stake in two exploration blocks offshore Gabon. The company did not disclose the financial details of the deal, which was executed through the wholly owned subsidiary Petrobras Participaciones S.L.

The blocks, Ntsina Marin and Mbeli Marin, are located in the Costeira Basin covering an area of 6,683 square kilometers and at water depth of up to 2,400 meters, on the Western Coast of Africa. These were owned by Britain’s Ophir Energy that will retain the remaining 50% of the interest.

In the initial phase, Petrobras will conduct evaluation work within the 2,000 square kilometers of 3D seismics. The deal is yet to receive the final approval from the Government of Gabon.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Petrobras is involved in exploration, exploitation and production of oil from reservoir wells, shale and other rocks as well as in refining, processing, trade and transport of oil and oil products, natural gas, and other fluid hydrocarbons. The company is also engaged in other energy-related activities.

Petrobras exhibits an array of robust development ventures, exploration successes along with new investments and acquisitions. These positive aspects will boost the company’s medium-term earnings outlook, to be aided further by its prominent recent discoveries and the growing domestic refined products market.

However, a volatile macro backdrop, project cost overruns and operational hindrances pose as major threats for Petrobras. Moreover, government rules and regulations as well as international currency fluctuations could restrain the company’s growth rate.

Petrobras competes with other established integrated energy firms like ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM), PetroChina Co. Ltd. (PTR) and Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDSA). We are maintaining our long-term Neutral rating on the stock.

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