Petróleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) has announced the sale of its stake in exploration block BM-S-8 in Brazil’s Santos Basin to Statoil Brasil Óleo e Gás for $2.5bn.

The latest deal comes as a result of a competitive bidding process and represents a significant development in the partnership between the two companies. It also forms a vital part of the Petrobras 2015-16 partnership and divestment plan.

Petrobras and Statoil have already signed cooperation agreements for technological development in offshore exploration and production.

The sale also represents part of the company’s portfolio management policy, which focuses on investment in assets with greater potential for short-term cash generation.

"The first installment of $1.5bn will be paid upon closing of the transaction."

The first installment of $1.5bn will be paid upon closing of the transaction, while the remaining amount will be paid in installments.

Block BM-S-8 is currently operated by Petrobras with a 66% interest, while other partners are Petrogal Brasil (14%), Queiroz Galvão Exploração e Produção (10%) and Barra Energia do Brasil Petróleo e Gás (10%).

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A light oil discovery was made in the block by the way of exploratory drilling in the Carcará area.

Petrobras and Statoil are also negotiating a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the assessment of other strategic cooperation initiatives.

The transaction will create new opportunities for partnerships with other companies and is aimed at strengthening the oil and gas industry in Brazil.

Completion of the deal is subject to the customary prior conditions and approval by the responsible bodies.

Separately, Petrobras has also started exclusive negotiations with Alpek for the sale of its stakes in Companhia Petroquímica de Pernambuco (PetroquímicaSuape) and Companhia Integrada Têxtil de Pernambuco (Citepe).