CNPC in talks to acquire Brazilian oil startup Barra Energia for about $2 bn: report

China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), China's largest oil producer, is in talks to acquire Brazilian oil startup Barra Energia Petroleo e Gas, for about $2 billion, Bloomberg today reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

CNPCThe talks are under way and a deal could be reached as soon as this month, said the report.

The talks comes after another Brazilian oil company, OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes, part of billionaire Eike Batista EBX Group, yesterday agreed to sell stakes in two offshore oil blocks in the Campos Basin to Malaysian state-owned energy company Petronas for $850 million (See: Petronas to buy OGX's Brazilian offshore field stake for $850 mn).

Formed in 2010 by the former executives of Petrobras and Respol and $1billion in funding from US-based private equity firm First Reserve Corp and Riverstone Holdings, Rio de Janeiro-based Barra Energia holds 10 per cent interest in block BM-S-8 and 30 per cent stake in block BS-4, both located in the ultra-deep waters of Santos Basin.

BS-4 is located 185kms off the coast in the Santos basin in water depths of approximately 1550 metres. It has two fields, Atlanta and Oliva, which are estimated to hold 2.1 billion barrels of oil, while block BM-S-8 is still under development.

For CNPC, the potential deal would come after it recently agreed to buy a 20 per cent stake in a giant Mozambique offshore natural-gas field from Italian oil producer Eni SpA for $4.2 billion.