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Report: Vitol-led group could purchase Petrobras' African JV

Following two rounds of bidding, a group of companies led by commodity trading firm Vitol S.A. Inc. has entered into exclusive discussions to acquire Petroleo Brasileiro SA's, or Petrobras', African oil exploration joint venture company, according to an article from Reuters citing unnamed sources.

The assets of the joint venture are expected to be worth up to $2.5 billion.

The group of companies include Vitol, Canadian-based Africa Oil Corp and Delonex Energy Ltd, an exploration and production company financed by Warburg Pincus LLC and the International Finance Corporation.

Spokespeople from Delonex, Vitol and Petrobras declined to comment on the possible deal, while representative from Africa Oil did not respond to a request for comment.

In a bid to reduce its heavy debt, Petrobras launched late last year the sale of Petrobras Oil & Gas BV, or Petrobras Africa, in which it holds a 50% interest. The other 50% stake is owned by BTG Pactual E&P BV, an investment vehicle formed by BTG Pactual, its clients and Helios Investment Partners.

Petrobras Africa has stakes in two offshore blocks, also known as oil mining licenses, or OMLs, that contain two producing fields. The Agbami field in OML 127, where Petrobras Africa holds a 12.5% interest, produces about 240,000 barrels per day of oil and is operated by Chevron Corp.. The Akpo field produces nearly 130,000 bpd of condensate and is operated by Total SA.