Oil & Gas: Oil & Gas financing porfolio at BNDES reaches over $40bn.

Oil & gas financing portfolio at BNDES reaches R$83bn

By Chico Santos Rio de Janeiro
Still very focused on Petrobras in volume terms, the oil and gas portfolio of the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), including the industry's production chain, has reached R$83 billion including loans signed and still being prospected. The bank has signed contracts for approximately R$41.8 billion, of which 60% belong to Petrobras and its subsidiaries, even after excluding the R$25 billion extended in 2009 to the state-owned company's Growth Acceleration Program (PAC) projects.
BNDES more than doubled the loan volume to the oil and gas industry, reaching R$7.8 billion from R$3.3 billion in 2011. In 2012 the bank started granting loans through the Department of Oil & Gas and Production Chain, created a little over two years ago to stimulate development of supply chains, having the pre-salt finds and a domestic content policy as main goals.
Renzo Gostoli/Bloomberg
Petrobras rig P-51 at the Keppel-Fels Shipyard in Angra dos Reis
Priscila Branquinho das Dores, head of the Department Oil & Gas and Made-to-order Capital Goods, estimates that last year's loan growth represented a groundbreaking shift in levels. She estimates that from now to the next four years, her department plans to extend another R$8 billion in financing. Similarly to Ricardo Cunha, head of the bank's Department Oil & Gas and Production Sector, she estimates that her area will lend R$500 million to R$800 million this year, stabilizing around R$1 billion a year in the next few years to a total of R$9 billion for the industry and its suppliers, or 5.8% of the R$156 billion financed by BNDES last year.
Ms. Das Dores explains that from the R$40 billion in new loans signed by her department and now being cleared for payment, approximately 35% (R$14 billion) correspond to dispersed contracts, especially for the shipbuilding industry. OSX, the shipyard of Eike Batista's EBX group, is one of the clients of the state-owned bank, as well as Queiroz Galvão Exploração e Produção (QGEP), the latter to the construction of a rig in Bahia's “Manati” gas field.
The remaining 65% of the contracts consist of loans to Petrobras and its subsidiaries. According to the oil company's third-quarter earnings, BNDES owned 25% of Petrobras's total debt of R$196.9 billion, or R$49.2 billion.
Most of that debt involves a contract in 2009 for the PAC workers. The money was split between the Abreu e Lima Refinery (Pernambuco), with R$9.9 billion, the Transportadora Associada de Gás (TAG), with R$5.7 billion. And the Petrobras “holding company,” with R$9.4 billion. A 40% share of the Abreu e Lima loan is still awaiting Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA to finalize its promises to hold a stake in the plant.
Ms. Das Dores, heading the BNDES department directly focused on the oil and gas industry, said that the concentration of new loans in the refining area last year (R$4.4 billion) will tend to decrease in the next few years, creating space for diversifying the portfolio. The strong share of refining investments in the financing portfolio is due to the ongoing modernization program of the Petrobras refining complex.
The BNDES official also said that the long interval between the last auction of exploration and production areas by the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) had no influence in the formation or cash flow of the bank's credit portfolio in the industry. “Petrobras continues to invest in areas under onerous concession (oil fields ceded during the company's capitalization) and in already auctioned pre-salt areas,” she said.
Ms. Das Dores said that financing for offshore support ships, made with capital from the Merchant Marine Fund (FMM), will also be reinforced. That is also unrelated to the lack of ANP auctions since 2008 up to this month, but with tender bids by Petrobras itself to seek services that she says are made in “batches.”
The recently created Department of Oil & Gas and Production Sector has much more modest but still growing numbers. “Because of the pre-salt, BNDES has decided it needed to deal more carefully with the oil and gas production chain,” said Mr. Cunha. The big difference is that in that area around 8% are small and midsized companies, with up to R$100 million in yearly revenue, while most of the companies handled in its sister department are large sized.
Mr. Cunha says supporting that segment of the industry required learning and flexibility from BNDES, including the interaction with business associations to help companies prepare their credit requests and formalize them. BNDES has also started to accept supply contracts as collateral for financing, since financial data of companies are many times incompatible with their requests.
Mr. Cunha's department has already created a portfolio with 27 ongoing loans totaling a balance of R$2.9 billion. Of that total, R$1.8 billion have been signed, 69% of the R$2.56 billion planned to be spent financing 15 projects.

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