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By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANIERO, BRAZIL – Earlier this week, Brazil oil giant, Petrobras, and the French oil and gas company, Total, signed a strategic partnership agreement setting the framework for segments of gas and energy exploration and production. The agreement, referred to as a Memorandum of Understanding, was announced at the Rio Oil and Gas Expo, the largest oil and gas exposition in Latin America.

Brazil, Rio de Janeiro,Petrobras' new CEO Pedro Parente speaks to reporters after his swearing in ceremony
Petrobras’ CEO Pedro Parente speaking to reporters earlier this year, announced on Monday, Oct. 24, Petrobras’ new alliance with French engergy giant, Total, photo by Steferson Faria/Agencia Petrobras.

“Petrobras and Total inform that Pedro Parente, CEO of Petrobras, and Patrick Pouyanne, Chairman and CEO of Total, have signed today, in Rio de Janeiro, a Memorandum of Understanding which sets the general framework for a Strategic Alliance covering Upstream and Downstream activities in Brazil as well as international potential opportunities,” said a released statement from both companies.

After formalizing the agreement, the two CEO’s, Parente and Pouyanne, held a joint press conference to publicly disclose the partnership on Monday, October 24th.

“This partnership may include both existing assets as well as participation in future auctions and future fields,” said Petrobras CEO Parente. “It is not strictly a transactional arrangement, the goal here is to share risks and reduce the need to [mobilize] company resources.”

Parente cited the exploration of the Libra oil field, a large ultra-deepwater oil prospect in the Santos Basin, off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, as an example of this cooperation between the two energy giants. “[T]his is an important moment to exchange technology, such as in Libra,” explained Parente.

Along with the Libra oil field, Petrobras and Total are partners in fifteen exploration and production projects, nine in Brazil and six abroad. Total was awarded a twenty percent participating interest in the Libra field, the largest pre-salt oil discovery to date in Brazil’s Santos Basin, in October 2013.

Libra lies 170 kilometers off the southeastern coast of Brazil, and contains estimated recoverable reserves of eight billion to twelve billion barrels.

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