June 13, 2019 / 9:33 PM / 4 days ago

Petrobras receives highest bid for offshore oilfields from Brazil Ouro Preto: sources

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's state-run Petrobras oil company headquarters is pictured in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil December 5, 2018. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian energy company Ouro Preto Oleo e Gas delivered the highest bid to acquire a pair of Brazilian oil clusters from state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Petrobras, as the oil company is known, said earlier on Thursday that bids for the Pampo and Enchova shallow water fields surpassed $1 billion but did not disclose the highest offer or winner.

Ouro Preto, led by Rodolfo Landim, former president of OGX, a now bankrupt oil and gas company led by one-time billionaire Eike Batista, has stakes in several basins throughout Brazil.

It was competing against at least one other bidder: Trident Energy, a Warburg Pincus-backed firm specializing in mid-life oil assets, which delivered an offer in March.

Together, the fields produce almost 39,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, according to July 2018 figures, making them the largest mature production asset in Petrobras’ divestment portfolio. Both are located off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

Petrobras has been in talks with potential buyers for these oil clusters for roughly one year.

In July 2018, it entered exclusive talks with Ouro Preto, but the unlisted company later lowered the bid, allowing Trident to take the lead. Under Petrobras’ divestments rules, however, it was required to open a final bid on June 5.

Petrobras has put dozens of assets up for sale in a bid to reduce debt and refocus the firm on deepwater exploration and production.

Ouro Preto and Petrobras did not immediately comment on the matter.

Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Additional reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by James Dalgleish

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