Petrobras reaches $2.95bn agreement on class-action lawsuit in US court

Brazil’s troubled state oil firm Petrobras announced on Monday it has obtained approval for a $2.95 billion deal to settle a securities class-action lawsuit in the US, according to Reuters.

The suit was brought by investors in the US District Court, Southern District of New York.

It pertained to the massive bribes-for-inflated-contracts corruption scheme that has overshadowed Petrobras and Brazil’s political scene for four years since being exposed in the so-called “Operation Car Wash” probe.

In a news release Petrobras, which has huge offshore oil interests, said the agreement in this case does not constitute an admission of guilt.

The decision follows another recent courtroom financial hit to the company when Brazil’s labour court voted in favour of Petrobras workers seeking higher wages, a decision that could cost the firm about $4.5 billion. Petrobras plans to appeal that decision in Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court.

There was happier news for the company, too, with the announcement that production has started from its Tartaruga Verde field offshore Brazil’s southeast coast.

Tartaruga Verde (Green Turtle in English) is located about 127 kilometres off of Rio de Janeiro in the deep waters of the Campos Basin.

Production has come online through the FPSO (floating production, storage and offloading vessel) Cidade de Campos dos Goytacazes.

The FPSO is capable of pumping 150,000 barrels per day of oil and of processing up to 3.5 million cubic metres of gas and 5 million cubic metres of compressed gas.

It is in water depth of between 700 metres and 1,300 metres with reservoirs at depths of 3,000 metres.

ANP, Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency, has estimated that the southwest of Tartaruga Verde contains 160 million barrels of crude oil.

Tartaruga Verde comprises two reservoirs, Tartaruga Verde and Tartaruga Mestica. Petrobras is 100% owner of Tartaruga Verde and 69.35% of Tartaruga Mestica, with the other 30.65% being held by government subsalt management company PPSA.

Petrobras, whose finances have been battered by the fallout from the corruption scheme, is engaged in an extensive divestment of its assets to restore its financial position.

With Tartaruga Verde coming on line, the company will have the opportunity to sell off a portion its stake in the field.

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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