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Statoil pays $2.5 billion to move deeper into Brazil

Coming off a weak second quarter, Norwegian major grabs assets in lucrative oil basin.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Statoil pays $2.5 billion to move deeper into Brazil
Norwegian energy company Statoil spends $2.5 billion to take a larger stake in oil prospects off the coast of Brazil. Photo by AzmanMD/Shutterstock

STAVANGER, Norway, July 29 (UPI) -- After a dismal earnings report, Norwegian energy company Statoil said it secured a stake in an oil basin off the coast of Brazil from the nation's oil company.

"Through this acquisition, we are accessing a world class asset, and we strengthen our position in Brazil, one of Statoil's core areas due to its large resource base and excellent fit with our technology and capabilities," Statoil President and CEO Eldar Saetre said in a statement.

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Statoil this week reported an operating profit for the second quarter at $913 million, down from the $2.9 billion reported one year ago. Spending plans for 2016 were revised lower by $1 billion to $12 billion. On Friday, it said it was spending about 20 percent of that to take a 66 percent operating interest in a license area in the Santos offshore basin from Petroleo Brasileiro, a semi-private company known also as Petrobras

Statoil said the grab includes parts of the Carcará oil discovery, which it said was one of the largest recent discoveries. The entire license area holds between 700 million and 1.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

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Statoil owns the Peregrino field in the Campos basin off the coast of Brazil alongside Chinese energy company Sinochem. Roughly one year ago, it said it achieved a production milestone at a field by passing the 100 million barrel mark.

"The Carcará field will significantly enhance our international production volumes in the 2020s and beyond," Saetre said.

For Petrobras, the deal comes as it struggles through a weak oil economy and concerns about corruption. The company last year said it aims to move past a "sad chapter" after taking a massive loss in a graft scandal.

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