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Petrobras to Take Charge of 5 Blocks in Foz do Amazonas Basin

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Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. or Petrobras (PBR - Free Report) recently informed that it will be taking over TOTAL’s operatorship and its stakes in the five exploration blocks located in the Foz do Amazonas Basin, 120 kilometers offshore Brazil as the latter is resigning from its role of an operator of these blocks. These exploration blocks are usually referenced as FZA-M-57, FZA-M-86, FZA-M-88, FZA-M-125 and FZA-M-127.

This investment is in sync with Petrobras' portfolio management process, which mainly focuses on boosting its shareholder value and prioritizing its investments in world-class assets in deep and ultra-deep waters.

The five blocks in the Foz do Amazonas Basin were acquired by a group of three companies during National Agency of Petroleum’s 11th Block Bidding round.The consortium comprised TOTAL with 40% interest alongside Petrobras and BP plc (BP - Free Report) with 30% stakes each.

TOTAL did not reveal the reason behind exiting its operatorship of the blocks located in the environmentally-sensitive basin. However, Petrobras, TOTAL and BP put a lot of effort into acquiring a license to carry out drilling activities in the basin as the Brazilian regulators considered such operations to pose a threat to the reefs and the local biodiversity.

Management stated that this agreement will enable Petrobras to expand its ownership of the fields to at least 50%, which may further increase to 70% if BP does not wish to extend its stakes in the fields. The conclusion of the negotiation is thus contingent upon the consent of the Organs regulatory bodies.

Company Profile

Petrobras is the largest integrated energy firm in Brazil and one of the biggest in Latin America. The company’s activities include exploration, exploitation and production of oil from reservoir wells, shale and other rocks. The operations also include refining, processing, trading and transportation of oil and oil products, natural gas and other fluid hydrocarbons apart from other energy-related operations.

Zacks Rank & Key Pick

Petrobras currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked player in the energy space is Murphy USA Inc. (MUSA - Free Report) , presently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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