Petrobras has been denied the chance to move forward with the sale of two offshore oilfields to Australian firm Karoon Gas, following a Brazilian federal court’s decision to uphold an injunction on the deals.
This ruling backs up the original injunction of November 19, which was imposed when a Petrobras employees’ union sued to block the negotiations. Petrobras appealed it almost immediately and the decision on that appeal is what has now been delivered.
The transactions in question involve the Bauna field in shallow waters of the Santos Basin and the Tartaruga Verde field in deep waters of the Campos Basin.
Bauna would be sold in its entirety while the Tartaruga Verde deal would see Karoon take a half stake with Petrobras continuing to be the operator.
Bauna produces about 45,000 barrels of oil daily.
With the federal court going into recess no further legal developments can occur in the case until February next year.
State-owned Petrobras has been at the centre of a huge bribes-for-inflated-contracts scandal that has brought down numerous business executives and senior politicians. It is the world’s most indebted oil company, owing $125bn, but has been aggressively divesting itself of assets to repair some of that damage.
Decisions like this put a fly in the ointment. But that’s not how workers see it. The unions have been bringing injunctions to try and stop various planned asset sell-offs by the company.