Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Royal Dutch Shell said it was selling its stake in a Brazilian gas distribution company so it could better focus on other parts of the country's energy sector.
For $380 million, Shell said it was selling off its 16.8 percent stake in gas distribution company Companhia de Gas de São Paulo, known also as Comgás, to Brazilian energy company Cosan Ltd.
Shell said it would still keep an active portfolio in Brazil after the exit, including in the country's lucrative deep water oil basins.
"This transaction allows us to focus our efforts in Brazil on areas where we see the most strategic value for Shell longer-term," Maarten Wetselaar, Shell's director for new energy and integrated gas, said in a statement Wednesday.
Brazil is expected to be second-only to the United States in terms of growth in oil production from countries outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries this year. The Santos basin offshore Brazil holds between 700 million and 1.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent, though production is complicated because most of Brazil's offshore oil reserves are referred to as pre-salt, meaning they are situated below a thick layer of salt on the ocean floor
The Dutch supermajor in September said it formed a "true partnership of spirit" with a Brazilian oil company Petroleo Brasileiro, known also as Petrobras, for work in deep Brazilian waters. Shell already has a partnership with Petrbras to work in a group of fields in the broader Santos basin off the Brazilian coast.
Shell, trimmed down after a merger last year with British energy company BG Group, reported a strong rebound so far in 2017, after turning in one of its weakest performances in more than a decade last year.
Net profit for the second quarter was $3.6 billion, up from the $1 billion reported for the second quarter 2016. From the first quarter, however, net profit is down about 4 percent.