Russia's largest energy producer has signed a deal with the Brazilian company PetroRio to operate the exploration of sites in the Amazon's Solimoes Basin.
Rosneft, the world's largest publicly-traded petroleum company, has raised its stake in an oil and gas prospecting venture in the Brazilian Amazon to 100 percent, giving it complete control over two onshore gas and oil leases in the Solimoes Basin of the Amazon River.
The Russian company increased its stake after agreeing to a deal with Brazilian oil producer PetroRio, also known as HRT Participacoes em Petroleo SA.
Rosneft acquired its 45 percent stake in the Solimoes project after its takeover of the oil company TNK-BP in 2011, which made it the world's largest oil producer.
In November 2013, Rosneft Brazil and PetroRio made an agreement for Rosneft to obtain an additional six percent in the Solimoes project, raising its stake to 51 percent and giving it the status of operator of the project.
The deal was finally approved by Brazil's National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels in July of last year. According to the July announcement from Rosneft, the transaction amounted to $96 million, with Rosneft also acquiring four heli-transportable rigs from the Brazilian company. In addition, Rosneft provided PetroRio with a loan facility of up to $40 million to finance HRT investments inSolimoes for a period of 12 months.
"The Solimoes project establishes Rosneft in Brazil, a country with major upstream growth opportunities and synergies with Rosneft operations in Venezuela," Rosneft stated.
According to media reports, the latest deal between the two companies is due to be announced on Monday and is valued at $55 million.
Rosneft reports that the resources of the Solimoes project consist of 34 million tons of oil and 73 billion cubic meters of gas, according to the project's prospecting works, which have been carried out over an area of 44.5 thousand square kilometers in the basin to date. The company says that 75 percent of the basin's area remains untapped, with the potential for extracting 100 million tons of oil equivalent exist, while gas reserves of 28-37 billion cubic meters have been confirmed.
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