OrigemEnergia, controlled by Prisma, purchases Petrobras Alagoas Complex and predicts the verticalization of the gas chain
Source: Valor Econômico
On Monday, OrigemEnergia, formerly Petro+, an oil company controlled by Prisma Capital, signed an agreement with Petrobras, in the amount of US$ 300 million, to purchase the Alagoas Complex (Polo Alagoas), a set of seven onshore and shallow watersoil and gas concessions. With the transaction, the company becomes one of the ten major producers of natural gas in the Country, as the market is opening up to new players. In addition, it is preparing a US$ 200 million three-year investment plan to recover mature fields.
The Alagoas Complex produces 1,9 thousand barrels /day of oil and condensate and 600 thousand cubic meters (m3/day) of natural gas. The company’s strategy is to diversify the monetization of such gas by going beyond the supply to the distribution companies. Origemis betting on the concept of energy integration and on a vertical structure that enables it to use the local gas for the production of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), the “cooking gas” as Petrobras already did, and for thermoelectric generation.The company also plans to enter the small-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) segment.
Besides the fields, the Complex includes a natural gas processing unit (NGPO) with capacity for 2 million m3/day, in addition of two processing plants and a 230-kilometer pipeline network with direct access to an oil export terminal, TAMAC, in Maceió (AL).
Luis Felipe Coutinho, CEO and one of the co-founders of Origem, believes that the company’s infrastructure will make a difference among the competitors in the opening of the gas market. “We are buying a fully self—sufficient Complex totally independent from other companies for its full development”, says Coutinho.
The CEO tells us that Origem plans to participate, starting this year, in the energy auctions and thus entering the generation sector. It is worth mentioning that the Eletrobras privatization project recently approved by the Congress provides for the retaining of 8 gigawatts (GW) of gas thermoelectric generation. “The energy crisis is of electricity stock due to the low volume of water reservoirs and unquestionably gas is strategic to recover the reservoirs.”
In gas distribution, the Alagoas Complex today supplies Algás (AL) and Copergás (PE). According to Coutinho, the intention is to renew the agreements terminating at the end of the year; for that, the CEO bets on the sale of gas at lower prices than the market average.
In the asset recovery project, the idea is to absorb part of Petrobras’ technical staff and local outsourced within a “primarization” strategy. Origem’s expectation is to increase the number of employees from 82 to 500 people in 2022.
The purchase of the assets was financed by its own capital. Coutinho emphasizes that todayOrigem has “privileged” access to capital because of its support by Prisma, an independent manager of alternative investments, and says that he continues in search of new opportunities of acquisition. According to him, the company is looking further to Petrobras’ mature fields. “Thinking about energy infrastructure integration, we are looking at all assets that would make sense in this chain, such as NGPUs, port terminals, thermoelectric plants, etc.”
When asked if opening Origem’s capital is part of the plans, Coutinho answered that this option has been considered, but in the years ahead. “The company has a long way to go, to prove the (investment) thesis and the results so that, eventually we would go to the capital market with a more robust and complete story.”
The acquisition of the Alagoas Complex represents a leap forward in Origem businesses, four years after its foundation. The company was created in 2017, as Petro+, having as co-founders two young entrepreneurs, business administrator Coutinho, 38 years old and engineer Luna Viana, 34 – later on, in January 2021, US engineer Nathan Biddle, 39, joined the business.
The oil company was founded aiming at the opportunities generated by the opening of the oil and gas industry in Brazil. The first move occurred in 2017 at the 4th Round of marginal accumulations of the National Petroleum Agency (ANP). At the time, with her own capital Luna invested R$ 23,5 thousand for the purchase of the onshore field GarçaBrancain the Espírito Santo Basin; then Coutinho made a small increase in the company capital for the development of the project.
In 2019, the company paid R$ 1,784 million for other four areas with marginal accumulations in ANP permanent offer. The founders then sold their control to Prisma –which also purchased another oil company, Eagle, merged to Petro+, resulting in Origem.
In the following year, Origem purchased, through Eagle, for US$ 3 million, four onshore fields from Petrobras in the Tucano Basin (BA). Coutinho explains that the company will be investing between US$ 15 and US$ 20 million to increase the gas production from 50 thousand m3/day to 150 thousand m3/day this year and 400 thousand m3/day in 202; the company sells its volume to Bahiagás.