* Seeks two or three farm-in opportunities in Brazil
* Follows formal approval of Devon asset purchases
RIO DE JANEIRO, May 11 (Reuters) - BP is negotiating opportunities to buy stakes in oil fields in Brazil to accelerate production increases in the South American nation, the head of the company’s Brazil division said on Wednesday.
London-based BP (BP.L) on Tuesday received approval from Brazil’s ANP energy regulator for its purchase of assets from U.S.-based Devon DEV.N, a deal signed in 2010, but put on hold following the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The company, which plans to spend $20 billion expanding existing operations around the world in 2011, is looking to new areas including Brazil and Russia to increase oil output.
“We can’t reveal the names for strategic reasons, but we have two or three farm-in negotiation processes underway,” said Guillermo Quintero, president of BP’s Brazil division, during a press conference. “We didn’t come to Brazil just to continue what Devon started, Brazil is strategic for us.”
“Farming in” refers to companies buying stakes in existing oil projects.
BP’s assets in Brazil include 10 blocks. Only one of them is in production phase with output of around 25,000 barrels per day (bpd). Quintero said BP’s production in Brazil could reach 100,000 bpd, but did not offer a clear time frame for this.
He said BP plans to participate in Brazil’s 11th bidding round to be held in September, which will not include blocks in the coveted deep-water region known as the subsalt that is home to the country’s largest oil discoveries.
BP over the last year has sold assets around the world to raise money in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico spill. (Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier. Writing by Brian Ellsworth. Editing by Jeb Blount and Robert MacMillan)