Petroleo Brasileiro SA is close to announcing a sale of its stake in an African oil and gas exploration business to a group of investors led by Vitol Group, sources said.
The state-run oil company’s partners in the African operations, Brazil’s Banco BTG Pactual and the U.K.’s Helios Investment Partners, have decided to keep their share of the business. The deal will value Petrobras’s stake at about $1.5 billion and may be announced in the next month, they said. No final decision has been made and discussions may still fall apart, the sources said.
Petrobras had added the venture to its divestment portfolio in May 2017. The oil company is working to offload $21 billion in assets by the end of the year after its debt rose above $100 billion in 2017. Petrobras and its two partners had previously considered selling their stakes together, valuing the African oil and gas exploration operations at about $3 billion, people familiar with the matter said last year.
Petrobras Africa participates in two deepwater oil exploration blocks off the coast of Nigeria that contain the Akpo and Agbami producing fields and are operated by Total SA and Chevron Corp respectively.