Brazil expects new Petrobras oil-rights deal by year-end
* Talks over cost of 5 bln barrels of oil rights sold in 2010
* Government expects subsalt oil law revision this month
* Brazil plans to ease local content rules this year
By Marta Nogueira
RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Brazil expects to renegotiate by year-end the price of 5 billion barrels of oil and gas rights purchased by Petrobras in a 2010 stock-for-oil swap, an Energy Ministry official said on Wednesday, removing a complication in the state-led company's plans to finance and develop major new offshore discoveries.
Petrobras bought the rights from Brazil's federal government to six areas in September 2010 for about $43 billion, or an average price of $8.51 a barrel, a value considered high for unproduced and unconfirmed oil resources.
The purchase was part of a more than $70 billion stock sale, at the time the biggest-ever sale of stock in history. Five billion barrels is enough oil to supply the needs of the United States, the world's largest consumer, for eight and a half months.
Jose Botelho, head of the exploration and production policy at the Energy Ministry, told an event in Rio de Janeiro hosted by the IBP, Brazil's oil and gas industry association, that the ministry sees the negotiations being completed before the end of the year.
At the time the world oil prices were about $80 a barrel and heading higher. Six years later they are below $50 a barrel and recently sunk below $28 a barrel raising questions if Petrobras can develop the resources profitably. Continuación...