Ecopetrol’s subsidiary Ecopetrol Óleo e Gás do Brasil has signed an agreement with Shell Brasil Petróleo to acquire interest in Gato do Mato discovery.

Ecopetrol will acquire 30% of the interests, rights and obligations in two areas that correspond to the BM-S-54 concession agreement and the Sul de Gato do Mato shared production agreement, located offshore in the Santos presalt basin. Shell will divest its stake to 50% from 80% and will continue as operator, while Total will retain the remaining 20%.

The Brazilian government also participates in the shared production agreement, through Pre-Sal Petroleo (PPSA). In these two blocks, three wells which discovered light hydrocarbons have been drilled.

The consortium companies will continue executing activities and operations aimed at initiating production in coming years.

Ecopetrol president Felipe Bayon said: “Joining this discovery in the Brazilian Pre-Salt with world-class companies is part of our growth and internationalisation strategy, focused on high potential basins such as Santos in Brazil.

“This acquisition balances our production portfolio by adding light hydrocarbons. In 2018 we announced the entrance into the Pre-Salt, an area with one of the greatest potential in the continent.”

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By GlobalData

Ecopetrol estimates that it could incorporate some 90 million barrels of crude oil in contingent resources as of 2020, with production that could total around 20,000 barrels of crude oil per day by 2025.

The agreement aligns with the company’s growth strategy and strengthens Ecopetrol’s position in Brazil’s Santos basin. The Gato do Mato stake will be a complementary addition to the company’s current position at Pau-Brasil and Saturno blocks.

The agreement is subject to receiving approvals from Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy, the nation’s National Agency of Petroleum (ANM), Natural Gas and Biofuels, and other customary closing conditions.