Audit court permits Petrobras’ asset sales on condition it starts over

Brazil’s federal audit court (TCU) on Wednesday gave state oil giant Petrobras clearance to start selling off its assets, according to Reuters.

However, the green light is conditional on the company starting over with the whole divestment process.

Petrobras is the world’s most indebted oil firm and has been hamstrung for two years by the ramifications of a huge corruption scandal involving bribes for inflated contracts.

That is why it has been seeking to sell off chunks of its assets, to improve the balance sheet.

It is a major player in offshore exploration and production, especially in Brazilian waters.

TCU wants the divestment process to be restarted under terms that it dictates in order to ensure more transparency and prevent further corruption.

Exceptions will be made for two particular transactions, for the rights to operate the Bauna and Tartaruga Verde offshore oil fields. They can go ahead as presently constituted. TCU had suspended Petrobras’ asset sales in December 2016.

At the same time, Brazil’s leading prosecutor has asked the nation’s Supreme Court to open 83 new investigations into politicians as part of the ongoing Petrobras corruption probe, known as Operation Car Wash.

Numerous politicians, as well as Petrobras and contractor company executives, have already been dragged into the probe.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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