Petrobras to fight court order blocking offshore assets sale

Following a report by the Australian energy company Karoon on Monday regarding a court order to Petrobras to stop the sale of its interest in Baúna and Tartaruga Verde fields off Brazil, Petrobras has said it intends to fight the order. 

Petrobras said later on Monday it became aware of the existence of such an order. Earlier that day, Karoon said the court contended that the sales process did not comply with relevant Brazilian regulatory requirements but failed to reveal the nature of those requirements.

To remind, Petrobras informed back in October this year it was in talks with the Australian company Karoon Gas for the sale of 50% and 100% interest in Baúna and Tartaruga Verde fields, respectively, as part of its 2015-2016 Divestment Plan aiming to reduce the company’s huge debt. Baúna field, in operation since 2013, is located in Santos basin and Tartaruga Verde, in early stages of development, is located in Campos basin.

Back to the current issue, the Brazilian state-owned oil giant noted Monday the company would appeal the injunction. It said the transaction was conducted in compliance with the stages laid down in the Divestment System and guaranteed extensive competition among potentially interested parties, as a means of ensuring the best deal for the company.

Petrobras also considered the independent opinions of financial institutions which assess transactions, affirming that the sales value was fair. The processes were analyzed by various committees of the company and submitted to the competent bodies for approval of the transactions, the oil giant said.

The class action suit was filed by a legal advisor for Sindipetro AL/SE, an oil workers’ union in Brazil, due to an alleged lack of tender process. The suit argued that the country’s law does not allow for such a sale to be made without a bidding process. While the argument has been accepted by the judge, the court’s decision can only suspend the sale process and not the sale itself.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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