SBM scandal could hit Petrobras for $15bn

SBM Offshore: Suspension of projects would hit Petrobras profits for $15 billion

Petrobras would face a $15 billion hit to profits through 2018 if it had to suspend all contracts and production with Dutch floater specialist SBM Offshore, a worst-case scenario of potential fallout in a scandal over corruption charges.

The Brazilian state-led company "clarified" in a Saturday securities filing that such a course of action has not been recommended by the country's national accounting office (CGU), which had requested the data.

"This analysis was done hypothetically in response to the said office," Petrobras said in a statement, adding the CGU also wanted to know about delays in timelines.

"Petrobras has not identified, up to this moment, any grounds for interrupting current contracts with SBM, nor was it the recommendation of the CGU in this regard."

SBM has been a top supplier of floating production, storage and offloading units to the Brazilian state-led company as it ramps up production in its pre-salt province.

However allegations of bribes paid in Brazilian contracts with the state-led company have thrown Petrobras on the defensive, leading SBM to say last month that it was out of the process of vying for future tenders including the Tartaruga Verde and Libra FPSOs.

In new testimony to a Senate panel on 11 June, Petrobras chief executive Maria das Gracas Foster defended the company strategy to charter production units to develop its offshore fields, and said Petrobras has $27.7 billion worth of contracts with SBM for the lease of eight FPSOs.

The eight units — Cidade de Anchieta, Marlim Sul, Capixaba, P-57, Cidade de Paraty, ­Cidade de Ilhabela, Cidade de Marica and Cidade de Saquarema — have a processing capacity of more than 1 million barrels per day of oil.

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