Blackstone Teams Up With Brazilian Partner To Buy $6B Gas Pipeline

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By Zainab Calcuttawala, Oilprice.com

The Blackstone Group teamed up with a Brazilian partner to bid on a deal to operate a natural gas pipeline network in the South American country’s northeast, according to a new report by Bloomberg.

Blackstone and Patria Investimentos formed a partnership to make a non-binding offer on the company. Three other groups made similar moves, according to anonymous sources. Mubadala Development and EIG Global Energy Partners made an offer to purchase a 90 percent stake in Transportadora Associada de Gas. French Engie and its consortium made another offer. A final decision should be made by the second quarter of next year.

The economy of Brazil has been struggling lately, and has been weighed down by the collapse in oil prices and a massive corruption scandal that saw the former CEO of state oil company Petrobras formally indicted in August. But Brazil’s government is striking back by opening up its energy and mining industries to foreign investment. Brazil’s legislators put forward a list of 57 major state infrastructure assets that will be put up for privatization, giving investors access to these strategic sectors for the first time in decades.

Two tender rounds for exploration rights in the pre-salt areas of Brazil have attracted the attention of ten oil companies. Discovered only 10 years ago, Brazil’s pre-salt area has rapidly become the biggest oil-producing area in the country. Just earlier this month, Petrobras discovered commercial oil in a whole new pre-salt area known as the Marlim Sul Field in the Campos Basin, located about 70 miles off the shore of Rio de Janeiro.

“Today we have nine that have expressed interest in the second (auction) and ten that have expressed interest in the third,” Waldyr Barrosos, director of the industry watchdog ANP said during an event in Rio de Janeiro earlier this year.

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