French supermajor TotalEnergies has formalised the payment of 4.7 billion reais ($940 million) to Petrobras for a minority stake in the Atapu field in the Santos basin pre-salt province.

The payment follows a similar announcement made two weeks ago, when European giant Shell deposited nearly $1.1 billion to the Brazilian state-controlled company for a working interest in Atapu.

Both payments are a compensation covering sunken costs so far incurred by operator Petrobras, which in 2010 was granted contractual rights to produce 550 million barrels of oil equivalent from Atapu.

Petrobras on 52.5%, Shell on 25% and TotalEnergies on 22.5% agreed last December to acquire surplus volumes that were auctioned off by the Brazilian government for Atapu.

The surplus volumes were never made public, but the partners will now work together to develop the remaining resources at Atapu, where output commenced in June 2020 via the P-70 floating production, storage and offloading vessel.

The compensation will also pave the way for the signing of the production sharing contract and the co-participation agreement.

Once the two deals are signed, Petrobras, Shell and TotalEnergies’ stakes at Atapu will be reorganised to match the proper recoverable reserves that each company will be entitled to.

The Brazilian oil giant is expected to engage soon in a similar agreement for the Sepia pre-salt field after surplus volumes were acquired in last year’s round by a consortium featuring Petrobras on 30%, TotalEnergies on 28% and Malaysia’s Petronas and QatarEnergy on 21% each.

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