Petrobras to give weekly updates on asset sales

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Brazil's state-run oil firm Petrobras expects to see rapid progress in its program of asset sales, CFO Ivan Monteiro said during a press conference on Tuesday.

"We have processes with very explicit values already in the bidding phase, so you can expect weekly updates on the partnership and divestment program," the CFO said.

Amongst the most advanced sales, is the divestment of gas logistics company Transportadora Associada de Gas (TAG). Proposals have already been delivered and are being analyzed by Petrobras.

The company also intends to announce a partnership in the downstream segment with Chinese CNPC shortly.


Petrobras posted a 6.96bn-real (US$1.96bn) net profit in the first quarter of 2018, the company's best result since the divulgement of the Lava Jato corruption scandal in 2014. The positive results were mostly due to cost reductions and higher oil prices. In comparison to the first quarter of 2017, net profit was 56% higher.

"These are the best results since the first quarter of 2013. We can say, without a doubt, that the company is much better prepared and very different to the one that existed when the Lava Jato corruption cases happened," Petrobras CEO Pedro Parente said on Tuesday.

The company's net debt fell from 281mn reais at the end of 2017 to 271mn reais at end-March. The net debt to adjusted Ebitda ratio is at 3.5, on track to reach the target of 2.5 by the end of the year.

For the first time since 2014, Petrobras announced in a release that it is going to distribute early remuneration to shareholders as interest on capital. The amount to be distributed, totaling 652mn reais, corresponds to a gross amount of 0.05 reais per share, to be paid on May 25, proportional to each shareholder's stake and to be provisioned in the 2Q18 financial statements


The federal oil firm could postpone the P-68 production system, scheduled to come online this year, due to delays in the integration works at the Jurong shipyard. The platform will be installed in the Berbigão field in the Santos basin pre-salt area.

"Right now, it's likely that we can only start producing in this system at the beginning of 2019, but there's still intensive work and efforts to accelerate it," Petrobras chief production development and technology officer Hugo Repsold said on Tuesday.

In total, Petrobras had eight new production systems scheduled to begin production in 2018, of which only one has already come online so far, the P-74. The next platform to be connected will be FPSO Cidade dos Campos dos Goytacazes, which is already on its way to the Tartaruga Verde field.

Meanwhile, the company is preparing to begin drilling wells on areas acquired in bidding rounds in 2017 and 2018. The first block to receive a well will be Peroba in the Santos basin, before the end of this year.


Increased imports by other companies and gains in market share for ethanol over gasoline led to lower production of oil derivatives and lower domestic sales of derivates during the quarter. Petrobras produced 1,700b/d of oil derivates and sold 1,800b/d between January and March.

The company remains a net exporter, with a 38% reduction in its imports in 1Q2018 compared to the same period of 2017. According to downstream director Jorge Celestino, the company is expecting further reductions in derivative imports.

"Import figures continue on a downward trend. For the future, when new agents enter the market after the sale of Petrobras's stakes in refineries, this will depend on their behavior," the director said.

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