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Brazilian state-run energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR, PETR4.BR), or Petrobras, and Norway's Statoil (STO) signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday to explore a promising oil prospect and expand technology cooperation.
The agreement will increase ties between the two national oil companies, including a partnership to explore the Indra prospect "and the area around there," said Statoil CEO Helge Lund. Statoil and Petrobras are partners in the concession where Indra was discovered.
"We want to see if we can move into some concrete projects (together)," Lund said.
Meanwhile, Petrobras director of exploration and production Guilherme Estrella said at the signing ceremony that the company was still evaluating its next five-year investment plan.
"The plan is still under analysis," Estrella said. "When the board is ready to approve it, (the plan) will be approved."
Petrobras is also moving forward on a second tender to build 21 drilling rigs in Brazil, Estrella said.
The first tender of seven rigs to be built by the Sete Brasil consortium was recently completed.
"We are in the process of preparing to open the next tender," Estrella said. "It's a complicated process."
-By Jeff Fick, Dow Jones Newswires; 5521-2586-6085; Jeff.Fick@dowjones.com