Vitol, Glencore, Shell in running for Petrobras’ Nigerian assets

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The world’s three largest oil traders are competing to buy the African arm of Brazil’s Petrobras (PETR4.SA) that owns stakes in two major Nigerian offshore oil blocks, industry and banking sources with knowledge of the matter said, after submitting bids earlier this month.

Last November, state-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known as Petrobras, launched the sale of 100 percent of Petrobras Oil & Gas BV, or Petrobras Africa, as part of the heavily-indebted company’s plan to offload $21 billion in assets through 2018 as it also faces a massive corruption scandal.

Petrobras holds half the shares in the company while 40 percent are held by a subsidiary of Grupo BTG Pactual SA and 10 percent by Helios Investment Partners.

Bankers have previously estimated the value of the Petrobras venture to be about $2 billion.

The venture has stakes in two offshore blocks that contain two producing fields, the major Agbami field in OML 127, operated by a local Chevron (CVX.N) affiliate and the Akpo field in OML 130 operated by Total SA (TOTF.PA).

The sale has attracted the top trading firms which are always on the hunt for long-term crude supplies. Mercuria and BP (BP.L) had also its potential.