Petrobras’ CEO says the $2.5bn sale of its stake in the offshore Carcara field will probably help Brazil’s debt-laden state oil firm wipe away as much as $11bn all told, according to Reuters.
Pedro Parente says that while the sale price to Norway’s Statoil helps, the far bigger benefit to Petrobras is from investment and development costs that Petrobras will not be obligated to spend after the sale. Those amounts will be available for other things – like paying off debt.
In July Petrobras sold its 66% stake in Carcara to Statoil. With the field’s development costs put at around $13bn Petrobras now escapes a pro rata contribution to those costs, roughly $8.5bn.
Parente, an engineer and Brazil’s former energy minister, was appointed Petrobras CEO in May by the nation’s acting president Michel Temer, who replaced Dilma Rousseff when she was suspended because of impeachment proceedings.
Petrobras has been roiled by two years of turmoil because of a multibillion-dollar bribes-for-inflated-contracts scandal involving some of the company’s executives, several engineering firms and a number of politicians.
It lost billions in the graft scheme, has been financially handcuffed since and has also suffered from the global plunge in the oil price.
The Carcara field, discovered about 250km off Rio de Janeiro in 2012, contains the biggest oil column ever found in Brazil’s subsalt region.