Brazilian state-owned oil and gas company Petrobras has started the binding phase for the sale of its stake in two exploratory oil concessions in deep waters in the Potiguar basin.

The exploratory concessions BM-POT-17 and the POT-M-762_R15 concession (Block POT-M-762), are located in the Equatorial Margin, off the coast of the northern state of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.

Petrobras currently owns 100% of the concessions and will offload 40% of the oil and natural gas exploration, development, and production rights in the two concessions.

The firm acquired the blocks in 2006 in the seventh bidding round of the Agência Nacional de Petróleo, Gás Natural e Biocombustíveis (ANP).

The Brazilian company intends to continue to serve as operator of the partnership, following the completion of a possible sale.

In its statement, Petrobras said: “This disclosure is in accordance with Petrobras’ internal rules and with the provisions of the special procedure for the assignment of rights of exploration, development, and production of oil, natural gas, and other fluid hydrocarbons, set forth in Decree 9,355/2018.

“The search for partnership in these assets is aligned with the portfolio management strategy and the improvement of the company’s capital allocation, aiming to maximise value.”

Petrobras is planning to undertake drilling of two exploratory wells in the Potiguar basin assets in the next two years.

It is conducting the discovery assessment plan for the Pitu well in the POT-M-853 and POT-M-855 blocks, with plans to drill an exploratory well, dubbed Pitu Oeste well, in 2023.

The company is planning to undertake drilling work at the Anhangá well (Anhangá Exploratory Opportunity), in the POT-M-762 block, between 2023 and 2024.

Last month, Petrobras announced that it begun the sale process for its 40% stake in two exploration oil concessions off the coast of Rio Grande do Norte.