Shell and ONGC Buy Petrobras Offshore Stake for $1.64 Billion

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp. raised their stake in an offshore Brazilian development by acquiring Petroleo Brasileiro SA’s share for $1.64 billion, Petrobras said.

Shell increased its stake to 73 percent from 50 percent, while ONGC’s stake climbed to 27 percent from 15 percent in the Parque das Conchas project, also known as BC-10, The Hague-based company said today in a separate statement. The purchase effective Jan. 1 is the result of pre-empting an unidentified bid for Petrobras’s 35 percent stake in the field, Shell said, without elaborating.

Shell operates the heavy-oil block, about 110 kilometers (70 miles) off southeast Brazil. The Parque das Conchas project, which came online in 2009, is producing an estimated 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day.

The development’s second phase, to tie into the Argonauta 0-North field, started on Oct. 1 and is expected to reach peak production of 35,000 barrels a day, Shell said. The third phase of BC-10 is forecast to pump as much as 28,000 barrels a day.

Petrobras, the most indebted publicly traded oil company, has been selling assets to help finance projects in Brazil’s deep waters. The state-controlled company took a 40 percent stake in an offshore field called Libra, the largest discovery in Brazil’s history, in a government auction on Oct. 21.

Petrobras confirmed the asset sale and purchase price in a Brazilian regulatory filling.