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The U.K. supermajor, BP plc (BP - Analyst Report), has divested 60% of its stakes in one of the 14 oil interests in Brazil to HRT Oil & Gas Ltd. in a cash transaction valued at $135 million.

The sale of the Polvo oil field in Brazil is expected to close in the later half of 2013 and is subject to Brazilian regulatory approvals. The remaining 40% interest in the field is held by the Danish energy major, Maersk.

Located in shallow waters offshore from Rio de Janeiro in Block BM-C-08 in the southern part of Campos Basin, the Polvo field lies 100 meters below the water level. The field came online in 2007 and has been operated by BP since its purchase from Devon Energy Corporation (DVN - Analyst Report). The average daily yield of the field is about 13,000 barrels of oil of which BP gets a 60% share.

Of the 14 exploration and production blocks, where BP has interests, the company farmed into Devon Energy operated 10 blocks including Polvo oil field in 2011. The remaining four were acquired from Brazilian energy multinational Petroleo Brasileiro S.A., or Petrobras (PBR - Analyst Report) in 2012.

The sale is a part of BP’s strategy to optimize its global portfolio and reposition the company for long-term growth. The energy giant has created a large portfolio of upstream interests in Brazil over the last two years. Currently, the company is aggressively pursuing explorations in this new acreage that presents significant upside potential over the long-term.

BP’s presence in Brazil dates back to 1957 and has significant business interests in the region even after the sale. It operates in Brazil through four businesses - exploration and production (BP Energy do Brasil); biofuels (BP Biocombustíveis); aviation fuel (Air BP); and lubricants (Castrol).

BP carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), which is equivalent to a short-term Hold rating. However, the Zacks Ranked #1(Strong Buy) InterOil Corporation (IOC - Snapshot Report) is expected to outperform the market over the next few months.
 

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