Royal Dutch Shell announced it intends to quadruple its investments in E&D offshore Brazil over the next four years.
The Anglo-Dutch multinational revealed its commitment to Brazil projects on the day that it actualized its $50bn merger with BG Group, a British oil and gas multinational. BG is already heavily committed to offshore gas drilling in Brazil’s Santos Basin.
The merger makes Shell the world’s second biggest oil company and effectively increases by a factor of six its production leases in Brazil.
Even before the merger Shell was one of five parties invested in the Libra field development, an offshore prospect believed to contain 12bn barrels.
In a further sign of Shell’s ambitions in Brazilian waters the company’s CEO Ben Van Buerden called on Brazil’s government to end the requirement that scandal-plagued national oil company Petrobras be 50% owner of all the country’s offshore projects.
It could be a case of good timing by Shell as Petrobras is already reported to be exiting its involvement in Brazil’s electricity industry as it tries to pay off its huge debts.