Petrobras readies asset sales – report

Petrobras is eyeing a bumper round of asset sales by the end of the year as it looks to finance it vast pre-salt plans off Brazil, a report claims.

The Brazilian state-owned oil behemoth is to concentrate much of its efforts on offloading Gulf of Mexico assets where it may consider brings in a “strategic partner”, Reuters quoted finance chief Almir Barbassa as saying.

Most of the planned $13.6 billion divestments are to happen before 2013 as the company looks to fill its coffers to finance its five-year, $225 billion spending plan, the news wire cited Barbassa as saying at its Latin America Investment Summit on Monday.

"In the second half, by the end of the year, we will see the majority of transactions by value, if not by number," Barbassa said.

As well as Gulf of Mexico assets, in which Petrobras has a stake in some 190 blocks, the company is looking to sell down refinery assets in Texas and Japan as well as possibly some distribution and natural gas assets.

“The Gulf of Mexico sale is important, probably the most important.”

Barbassa said there has already been strong interest in some of the assets, although he declined to name prospective buyers.

The finance boss also said that Petrobras is looking to double its output to about 6.4 million barrels of oil equivalent by 2020 but that is would be “several years” before the country retains the net exporter tag.

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