Petrobras, Total Agree to Evaluate Opportunities in Africa and Middle East

Petrobras and Total E&P Activites Petrolieres (Total) signed a cooperation agreement to evaluate the exploration, development, and production of oil extracted from oil shale deposits in specific regions in African and Middle Eastern countries.

Under the agreement, the companies will carry out studies, exchange information, and negotiate concession agreements. Petrobras' directors Nestor Cervero (International Area), and Paulo Roberto Costa (Downstream), and Total's vice-president, Patrick Pouyanne, and its vice-president for Americas-E&P, Michel Seguin, attended the event.

Petrobras and Total's technical teams will analyze the projects' viability, including aspects such as the environment, and legal, technical, and economic issues. If viability is confirmed and approved by the respective executive boards, a project development evaluation will be undertaken, and Petrobras will be the operator.

The cooperation between the companies will also allow for technology exchanges. Petrobras owns the world's most advanced oil shale oil extraction process, Processo Petrosix, and has an industrial scale unit operating commercially since 1991 producing oil, fuel gas, liquefied gas and other derivatives. Total, meanwhile, has state-of-the-art oil improvement technology and deep knowledge of the region where the projects of interest are located.

The scenario of scarcity and the high oil prices have attracted attention and investments to new sources of energy, among which oil shale, the product of which is very similar to crude oils. Several countries are considering resuming or expanding their oil shale production units. The cooperation agreement between Petrobras and Total follows this global trend and has significant representation to develop new oil production units with oil shale processing.