Petrobras planning to sell Texas refinery at a huge loss

Petrobras, the scandal-plagued state oil company of Brazil, is planning to sell an oil refinery in Pasadena, Texas which it bought for about six times the price it is now asking, according to Reuters and Bloomberg.

With the company committed to selling off around $21bn of its assets by the end of 2018 to reduce its debts, Petrobras is considering selling the refinery for $200m, a small portion of the $1.2bn it paid for the facility in two payments in 2006 and 2012.

The original purchase is being investigated by Brazilian federal prosecutors on suspicion that bribes were involved in the overpriced deal.

Petrobras has been the fulcrum of a huge, politically destabilizing corruption scheme wherein contractors paid bribes in return for inflated contracts with the oil giant, and politicians took kickbacks to ignore or facilitate the deals.

In a securities filing, Petrobras said it is also looking to divest its 50% stake in Petrobras Oil & Gas BV, an oil exploration venture also known as Petrobras Africa.

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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