Petrobras May Buy Eni's Galp Stake

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Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, said it is in talks with Eni SpA, Italy's largest oil company, to buy the Italian firm's $5.5 billion interest in Portugal's Galp Energia SGPS SA. The Brazilian company said it is still reviewing the purchase of Eni's 33% Galp investment and that no final agreements have been reached as of yet.

Petrobras (PBR) did not say how much it is offering, Bloomberg News reported. Galp partners with Petrobras in the exploration of some of Brazil's major offshore oilfields. One analyst said the purchase of the Eni (E) would mean Petrobras would have to increase spending to support Galp's exploration efforts.

Petrobras is already planning to spend $224 billion on exploration projects through 2014, far and away the largest budget of any of the world's major integrated oil companies. Eni said that it is mulling options for its Galp stake, which include ''opportunities'' with Petrobras, but said no decision has been made, Bloomberg reported.

Galp partners with Petrobras at the Lula field, formerly known as Tupi, and at the Cernambi field. The two fields are estimated to hold 8.3 billion barrels of oil reserves. Galp also owns to refineries in Portugal that Petrobras would gain access to through a stake purchase.