Petrobras begins sale of Texas oil refinery

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Petrobras has started the opportunity disclosure stage related to the sale of the Pasadena refinery in the US, the Brazilian NOC said in a statement.

The opportunity encompasses the Texas plant's entire refining operations system, including the refinery, with an oil processing capacity of 110,000b/d and a storage capacity of 5.1Mb of oil and oil products, the maritime terminal, the logistics and associated inventory, as well as an area on the Houston Ship Channel for future expansion opportunities.

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IRREGULARITIES

The purchase of the refining unit by Petrobras has been investigated by Brazil's federal audit court (TCU), which in 2017 froze the assets of former president Dilma Rousseff over "irregularities" in the 2006 operation.

Petrobras paid US$360mn for half of the Pasadena refinery in 2006, around eight times the value outlaid by previous owner Astra Oil when it acquired the facility a year earlier.

Over the next six years Petrobras invested a further US$800mn in the 112,000b/d complex, including the cost of buying out Astra's remaining 50% stake.

DIVESTMENT PLAN

The Pasadena sale is the third operation announced by Petrobras this year as part of its 2017-18 divestment plan, which involves the sale of US$21bn in assets.

This week the company announced it had started the non-binding phase for the sale of 100% of the shares held by its subsidiary Petrobras Biocombustíveis (PBio) in BSBios, which is a biodiesel producer owning several plants in the country.

In January, the state-run oil giant informed the market about the conclusion of the transfer of rights operations regarding the Lapa and Iara concessions off the southeastern coast.