Talos Energy Inc has withdrawn from a consortium with EIG Global Energy Partners, Enauta Participacoes SA and 3R Petroleum Oleo e Gas SA, and the group has submitted a binding offer to Petrobras for the Albacora and Albacora Leste oilfields in Brazil, five sources with knowledge of the matter said on Monday.
Another consortium composed of Brazil’s PetroRio SA and Cobra, a subsidiary of French infrastructure firm Vinci SA, also submitted a bid, added the sources, who requested anonymity to discuss confidential matters.
The precise value of the bids was not clear. One source with direct knowledge of the matter said the Enauta consortium submitted an offer of around $2 billion.
Talos had been in talks with the EIG consortium, but withdrew in recent days, the sources said. The company was hit with a severe setback in early July when the Mexican government handed a major offshore oil deposit it discovered to state-run Pemex.
The sale of the Albacora fields would represent a victory for Petrobras, which is selling off dozens of assets in a bid to reduce debt and focus investments on prolific deepwater oil reserves known as the pre-salt.
The fields produce 77,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day according to tender documents released by Petrobras. They would represent the company’s biggest upstream divestment since 2017, when the firm agreed to sell a stake in its Roncador field to Norway’s Equinor ASA for $2.9 billion.
EIG and 3R declined to comment. None of the other companies involved immediately responded to a request for comment on Monday.
Petrobras has rapidly deleveraged in recent quarters, and the Albacora sale would bring the company significantly closer to achieving its gross debt target of $60 billion. Currently, the company’s debt stands at $63.7 billion.
It generally takes Petrobras several weeks to pick a winner among the companies that submit binding offers, followed by months of bilateral negotiations.
(Reporting by Gram Slattery and Marta Nogueira in Rio de Janeiro and Sabrina Valle in Houston Editing by Brad Haynes and David Gregorio)