BP rumored to have Brazilian oil field on the sale block

BP may be looking to sell its only Brazilian producing oil field, Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico reported on Friday.

BP currently operates Polvo, a field close to the coast of Rio de Janeiro, with a 60 percent stake. Maersk owns the other 40 percent share. The sale would be part of a $38 billion divestment strategy that BP announced in 2010, following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Analysts say that the potential sale is probably due to Polvo’s low production and the complexity of the well, which the American Petroleum Institute has rated as extremely complex.

“The field, which has been in production for five years, has struggled to meet growth targets, given compartmentalized reservoirs and complex carbonate geology,” wrote Tudor Pickering in an analyst’s report.

The sale would require a potential purchaser to acquire necessary operations permits, and would be the first such sale in the country for an already producing field, according to Valor Economico.

BP bought the Polvo field from Devon Energy in May 2011, as part of a block of 10 exploration and production sites in the Campos and Camamu-Almada basins, which have water depths ranging from 330 to 9,100 feet. The Campos basin block includes the Polvo field, which was producing around 25,000 barrels of oil per day at the time of the purchase. It was expected to reach 50,000 barrels per day but has since declined to 16,000 barrels of oil per day, according to Tudor Pickering.