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Petrobras says sale of interest in fuel distribution subsidiary is not imminent

Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, denied reports Jan. 16 that it will complete a sale of an interest in fuel distribution subsidiary Petrobras Distribuidora SA in February as part of its wider divestment plan.

"Petrobras, within the scope of its active portfolio management, has already initiated studies for the additional sale of its stake in BR [Distribuidora]; however, there is still no deliberation by the company's internal bodies regarding the amount of the stake to be negotiated, the ideal structure of the transaction or even its actual execution, which will depend on market conditions and its strategic repositioning in the sector," Petrobras said in a Jan. 16 statement.

In early December 2019, executives said the company was likely to expand its plan to divest as much as $30 billion in assets by 2024, which would include a stake in BR Distribuidora, Petrobras' holdings in Bolivia, post-salt deepwater blocks, and a stake in petrochemical producer Braskem Petroquímica SA.

To reduce its massive debt, Petrobras also plans to unload interests in onshore and shallow-water oil blocks, refineries, transmission lines, gas transportation and distribution assets, thermal power plants and liquefied petroleum gas units.

Through Oct. 15, 2019, Petrobras had divested $15.3 billion in noncore assets in 2019.

On Jan. 15, Petrobras said it wrapped up the sale of its 50% stake in Petrobras Oil & Gas BV in Africa for $1.53 billion, fully ceasing operations across the continent.

Separately on Jan. 15, Petrobras kicked off the teaser stage in efforts to sell its 50% stake in two deepwater post-salt offshore concessions — the Golfinho and Camarupim clusters in Brazil's Espirito Santo Basin.