New Players in the Brazilian O&G Market - Starfish Oil & Gas

New Wave Media

September 27, 2010



Starfish Oil & Gas is not exactly a new player, since the company was founded in 1999. As the first private national O&G operator in Brazil and classified as a B class operator by ANP (National Petroleum Agency), Starfish has participation in a variety of onshore and offshore blocks in Brazil and in Angola.

The company is structured as a closed capital corporation with capital stock of R$ 82.365 million (US$ 46,533 million, at the current exchange rate). The company´s stock is divided in 502.62 thousand common shares, distributed among 80 shareholders in Brazil and abroad.
The first opportunities in the O&G market were identified by the company in the group of licenses granted by the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) to Petrobras in the so-called Round Zero, in August of 1998. Through negotiations, the company gained 7,5% participation in the licenses of Coral and Starfish Fields, in development phase, and to the BS-3 Block, in exploration phase, all offshore, in the southern part of the Basin of Santos, along the coast of the States of Paraná and Santa Catarina. This places the company in a good strategic position as these areas all have high O&G recovery potential and are not too far from the coast, which is an important factor in terms of logistics costs and accessibility.
Today, Starfish participates as operator in 17 onshore blocks in the Recôncavo, Potiguar and Sergipe-Alagoas basins in northeast Brazil and 3 offshore shallow water blocks located at the Santos and Campos basins. The company is awaiting confirmation from the ANP on two blocks which were acquired during the eighth bidding round (2006) in the Tucano Sul Basin. As a non-operator, Starfish participates in 1 exploratory block and a field in the production phase operated by Petrobras, located in the Recôncavo Basin, in addition to carrying out geological and geophysical studies in various concessions. Starfish has also been participating as an operator in a drilling campaign of 8 firm wells and 2 contingent wells. In November 2007, Starfish participated successfully in the ANP’s Ninth Bidding Round in consortiums with different companies it presented winning bids for 11 exploratory blocks. 2 blocks are located in shallow waters (up to 400 meters), in Campos Basin (C-M-498 e C-M-622) and 1 in shallow waters in Santos Basin (S-M-225). They are blocks with excellent potential leads, which have already been mapped and are located near various oil production fields.
Starfish is also present in Angola, where the company was qualified by Sonangol E.P (Angolan Petroleum Agency) to participate as an operator of Angolan exploratory blocks. Starfish is currently participating in technical evaluations of significant areas located at different Angolan Basins, as part of their technical cooperation agreement with Sonangol.
Even in Brazil, Starfish O&G is not as widely known as other younger private players, except within the O&G market. They are however, widely respected in the market as efficient and experienced operators, specially onshore, although they do have very good offshore experience, which is certain to increase in the near future. The company is already negotiating partnerships, national and international, with a look at participating in the next round of ANP bidding, which will take place later this year (at least for shallow water and onshore block). Starfish has already imported at least one rig and it is quite probable that they will be ordering another and maybe even their own drill ship, but this time placing their order locally at one of the growing number of Brazilian ship and rig building yards.
Claudio Paschoa
Paschoa, Claudio
Claudio Paschoa is Marine Technology Reporter's correspondent in Brazil.