SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Petróleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4.SA) proposed including a Texas refinery and a stake in an African oil exploration venture into a list of assets that Brazil’s state-controlled oil company has put up for sale by the end of next year.
In a securities filing, Petrobras said management agreed to modify the list to include its 50 percent stake in Petrobras Oil & Gas BV, commonly known as Petrobras Africa. It may also add the Pasadena refinery, whose purchase a decade ago has been the subject of criminal investigations.
The new additions will still be submitted individually to full approval by management, the filing added, without specifying a date. Earlier this year, Petrobras unveiled a two-year, $21 billion asset sale and partnership program, a key component of Chief Executive Officer Pedro Parente’s plan to revive the highly indebted oil company.
In March, the list was updated with five assets including fuel distribution unit BR Distribuidora and offshore fields. Petrobras has turned to divestitures and joint ventures as a way to downsize and reduce a debt burden of about $100 billion - the largest of any major global oil player.
Bloomberg News reported earlier this week Petrobras could raise less than $200 million with the sale of the Pasadena refinery, down from the $1.2 billion it originally paid for the asset.
Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Petrobras overpaid for the refinery and whether bribery was involved.
Preferred shares (PETR4.SA) rose 4 percent on Wednesday to a one-month high. The stock more than doubled in value last year on expectations that reduced state meddling on the company’s strategy would accelerate an operational turnaround.
Additional reporting by Luciano Costa; Editing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and David Gregorio