Peter Millard – Bloomberg, 08/26/2012
Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4)’s oil finds are attracting private-equity investments to the country’s energy industry after the Brazilian state-run company struck its thickest layer of crude ever in an offshore field.
First Reserve Corp. and Riverstone Holdings LLC last year invested $1 billion to help Barra Energia Petroleo & Gas buy a stake in the Carcara area from Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Petrobras, which operates the block, said Aug. 13 it found good-quality oil at Carcara that’s thicker than the layer at Lula, Brazil’s largest field with an estimated 6.5 billion barrels of reserves.
Petrobras got the attention of investors with a plan to spend $236.5 billion on developing the world’s biggest crude discoveries in more than a decade. Banco Santander SA started Brazil’s first oil-industry private equity fund in 2010 as analysts forecast the industry will attract as much as 600 billion reais ($296 billion) in five years. Funds including Singapore’s Temasek Holding Pte. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Gavea Investimentos Ltda. have bought stakes in equipment suppliers set to benefit from Petrobras drilling.