Petrobras ordered to restart asset sales

Brazilian court has ordered the state-owned oil company Petrobras to restart its assets sale program, meant to help the company reduce its massive debt, except for two projects.

Brazil’s Federal Accounting Court (TCU) on Wednesday overturned an injunction from December last year that had prevented Petrobras to sign any new asset sales and conclude those in progress.

The court now ordered the company to adopt its reviewed divestment process methodology, which means that all but two asset sale processes will have to be done from the beginning.

The two assets that the oil company will be able to sell without restarting the process include the sale of interest in the Baúna and Tartaruga Verde fields, off Brazil, and sale of interest in Saint Malo field, in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

To remind, Petrobras has been in talks with the Australian company Karoon Gas since last October for the sale of the Baúna and Tartaruga Verde field as part of its plan to divest approximately $35 billion of assets between 2015‐2018 to reduce debt. However, the process was suspended by the court in December due to an alleged non-compliance with relevant Brazilian regulatory requirements which require an open public bidding process.

Commenting on the court’s decision, Petrobras said: “Such decision is crucial for the company to move forward with its divestment plan, which is considered one of the main pillars to achieve the goal of reducing leverage.”

Petrobras reaffirmed the maintenance of its partnership and divestment target established in the Strategic Plan of $21 billion for the 2017/2018 biennium.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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