Companhia Petrolifera Marlim (Marlim) is gearing up for a R$600 million ($300 million) future flow asset-backed commercial paper transaction backed by revenues from Campo de Marlim oil and gas fields, situated off the coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro.

The deal is being agented by Banco Chase Manhattan and Banco ABN Amro do Brasil is acting as the underwriter. The notes have a maturity of 180 days and have been assigned a preliminary short-term rating of "br-A-2" by Standard & Poor's.

Though the transaction will initially be shopped to Brazilian investors, the issuer may need to turn to similarly structured cross-border financing soon. "Because of the size of the operation, there might be a need for additional financing from the international markets," said Rosario Buendia, head of Latin American Structured Finance at Standard & Poor's.

Marlim is a special purpose company, which is owned by Brazilian financial institutions, including Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimeinto Economico e Social (BNDES). It was established in 1998 to work with Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) to develop the Campo de Marlim oil and gas fields.

This is Marlim's second time around in the securitization market. Last fall, the company issued a R$250 million asset-backed commercial paper program with an identical structure. TH