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BG Group. Shell

Markets

Shell buying BG to ease Petrobras stress in key Brazilian arena

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s acquisition of BG Group Plc not only increases access to deep-water fields in Brazil, but provides greater heft in dealings with Petroleo Brasileiro SA, the local partner mired in a graft probe. With Petrobras engulfed in Brazil’s largest ever corruption scandal, BG and other partners are struggling to communicate with the state-controlled producer’s management to address delays to development plans. For BG and Galp Energia SGPS SA, which are relying on future Brazilian output to bolster cash flow, this uncertainty is a bigger problem than for Shell, which has a larger and more diversified portfolio. “Shell has more patience and financial strength,” Juan Ramon Fernandez Arribas, an independent analyst based in Madrid, said in an e-mail. “It can wait more to develop its projects and is a more solid operator than BG. That’s a big advantage in the discussions with Petrobras.”