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Oil & Gas

Support for strike by Petrobras workers in Brazil is growing, unions claim

Support for a strike at Petrobras is growing according to Brazilian union leaders as workers show their opposition to privatisation of the state-owned oil company. A strike began last Sunday and has become the biggest stoppage in 20 years at Petrobras as workers back union efforts to rationalise the company and cut foreign participation in the oil industry. The focus of industrial action has recently changed to focus on nationalist and anti-capitalist demands rather than wages.

Other News

Petrobras ends offshore helicopter tender

Petrobras has cancelled an ongoing tender for heavy and medium helicopters used in its offshore operations. Era Group said Aeroleo Taxi Aero, its Brazilian joint venture, had received notification after Petrobras has carried out a review of its aviation needs. It was concluded no additional contract was needed amid the challenges of the current marketplace.

Oil & Gas

Tributes paid to former Petrobras chief executive

A former chief executive of Petrobras has passed away after battling cancer. Jose Eduardo Dutra, who was 58-years-old, died yesterday following a battle with cancer. The Workers’ Party presidents was a geologist and union leader who was elected as a senator more than 20 years ago.

Oil & Gas

Transocean mentioned in Petrobras carwash corruption probe

Transocean Ltd., the world’s largest offshore rig contractor, has been linked for the first time to the corruption probe of Petroleo Brasileiro SA, the state-owned energy giant at the center of Brazil’s biggest corporate scandal. A former executive at Brazil’s state-run oil company has testified to receiving what he says were payments made by someone claiming to be a Transocean agent in exchange for a rig- operation contract from Petrobras. “Transocean has a long-standing commitment to and upholds the highest standards for corporate ethics and compliance,” the company said in an e-mailed response. “Our employees -- and everyone conducting business on our behalf -- are required to adhere to our high standards for integrity, honesty, financial discipline and legal and regulatory compliance.”

Oil & Gas

Petrobras board approves sale of 25% of fuel unit, two oppose

The board of directors of Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA approved the sale of at least 25 percent of its fuel unit BR Distribuidora, according to board minutes published in a securities filing late Monday. Reuters previously reported that Petrobras would seek to sell at least a quarter of the unit, which controls Brazil's largest service-station network. A sale is expected as early as the end of this year. Petrobras, as the company is known, wants to sell $15.1 billion of assets by the end of 2016 to help reduce its $132 billion of debt, the largest of any oil company.

Oil & Gas

Two Petrobras basins: One safe but fading, one is a costly bet

The two oil basins off Rio de Janeiro’s coast offer a glimpse into the tough choices Petroleo Brasileiro SA is making as it slashes $77 billion in investments. The Campos Basin along Rio’s north shoreline produces more oil than any other region in Brazil, but output is sliding fast as fields age. The Santos Basin to the south holds Brazil’s biggest-ever crude finds, but the massive deposits up to four miles deep are costly to tap. They each need billions of dollars in investments. Petrobras doesn’t have the cash for both. The dilemma highlights how far Brazil’s state-run oil giant has fallen since its 2010 heyday, when it raised $70 billion in what was then the world’s biggest-ever share sale to fund projects from Africa to the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, a sweeping corruption scandal and tumbling oil prices have forced it to scale back operations. It’s now trying to sell almost $60 billion of assets and cut more than a third of a five-year investment plan that was once the world’s largest.

Oil & Gas

Petrobras CEO says it will take 5 years to rebuild company

The chief executive of Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA estimates it will take five years for the state-run oil producer to win back the credibility it lost among investors after a massive corruption scandal sent some of its top executives to jail. Aldemir Bendine told daily O Estado de S.Paulo that the corruption scandal will weigh on Petrobras as long as investigations continue but that he will keep pushing for management and financial changes in the company.

Oil & Gas

Brazil’s Petrobras confirms irregularities in 2009 Braskem deal

Brazil's state-run oil firm Petrobras confirmed on Tuesday it had found irregularities in the approval of a 2009 contract to provide naphtha to petrochemical company Braskem SA and had reported the issue to public prosecutors. Petrobras, or Petroleo Brasileiro SA, said in a securities filing that it began investigating the contract based on plea deal testimony from former executive Paulo Roberto Costa and money changer Alberto Youssef in a sweeping graft probe. On Saturday, TV Globo reported that the two revealed a bribe paid by Braskem for a deal allowing it to pay below-market rates for naphtha, causing losses to Petrobras.

Oil & Gas

Petrobras must face U.S. lawsuit over bribery, judge says

A U.S. judge has rejected Brazilian state-run oil producer Petrobras' effort to dismiss a lawsuit claiming that years of corruption, including bribery, caused more than $98 billion of its stock and bonds to be overvalued. The decision by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan was made public on Friday, and clears the way for investors to pursue much of their class action lawsuit. A trial could begin as soon as Feb. 1, 2016. Rakoff dismissed some claims related to Petrobras bonds issued in 2012 and some claims based on non-U.S. transactions, and also said some claims should be arbitrated.

Oil & Gas

Brazil government expects Petrobras to lose key oil rights, report says

Brazil's government expects a bill ending state-run Petrobras' dominant role in key offshore oil areas to pass Congress, reversing one of President Dilma Rousseff's signature policies, a source told Reuters on Thursday. The bill, which is before Brazil's Senate, is likely to pass and also win approval in the Chamber of Deputies, Brazil's lower house, said the source, who works at the Presidential Palace and has direct knowledge of government thinking. "There's nothing the government can do," said the source, who asked for anonymity because permission to speak with the press had not been given. "It knows it can't stop this defeat."

Oil & Gas

Braskem SA sued in US for ties to Petrobras scandal

A Braskem SA shareholder sued the petrochemical company for securities fraud in a case tied to Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as litigation in the U.S. over the Brazilian energy company’s bribery scandal expands to customers. Petrobras sells naphtha to Braskem, Latin America’s largest petrochemical maker. The material, the main ingredient for making petrochemicals, is sold under long-term agreements between the two firms, according to investor Douglas Peters. Petrobras has been accused of involvement in a bribery scheme that has rocked Brazil’s economy and triggered lawsuits in the U.S.

Oil & Gas

Petrobras tries to halt investor suits as bribery probe widens

Petroleo Brasileiro SA is heading into a Manhattan courtroom Thursday to ask a judge to throw out investor lawsuits triggered by the multibillion-dollar bribery scandal that’s rocking Brazil’s economy and its political elite. Less than a week after police detained the chief executives of Brazil’s two biggest builders in connection with the kickback probe, the state-owned energy giant is asking that the investor cases be dismissed, saying it was swindled by renegade employees who traded construction contracts for payoffs.


Arrest of `Big Fish’ Odebrecht ups the stakes in Petrobras probe

In arresting Marcelo Odebrecht, Brazilian federal prosecutors have netted themselves a whale. Odebrecht’s journey from heir and leader of one of Brazil’s largest family business empires and most influential companies to a jail cell in Curitiba is an economy-shaking development in the unfolding Petrobras bribery scandal that suddenly shows no signs of abating. Odebrecht’s billionaire family’s empire spans across more than 20 nations. The company over which he presides as president, Odebrecht SA, has built Brazilian World Cup stadiums, Cuba’s deep water port, Miami’s airport and is Angola’s biggest private employer. The conglomerate is a major and aggressive donor to Brazilian political campaigns at all levels.

Oil & Gas

Brazil’s Petrobras mulls sale of ethanol plants, report says

Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras is looking to sell some of its biofuel assets as it tries to raise cash to cover investment for new offshore oilfields and service its debt, Reuters reported, citing two sources. The company, whose $125 billion of debt is the biggest of any oil company and the third-largest of any non-financial enterprise, plans to sell as much as $13.7 billion of assets by the end of 2016. The first source, who has direct knowledge of Petrobras' plans, said the company's ethanol plants, which transform sugarcane into fuel, were the most likely area of the business to be sold. Petrobras has nine ethanol plants and five biodiesel plants.


Brazil oil group seeks changes to local-content rules

Brazil's national oil-industry association, IBP, released a list of suggestions for regulatory changes on Monday that it hopes will boost exploration activity in the wake of falling oil prices, high costs, delays and a graft scandal at state-run oil company Petrobras.