Petrobras confirms ownership of Houston refinery
HOUSTON, March 9 |
HOUSTON, March 9 (Reuters) - Brazil's Petrobras (PETR4.SA) (PBR.N) now owns 100 percent of the 100,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Pasadena Refining System Inc refinery in Texas, Chief Executive Jose Sergio Gabrielli confirmed on Monday.
Orlando Azavedo, president of Petrobras America Inc, the company's U.S. arm, also said the company is studying a conversion to increase the plant's ability to process heavy crude, but there are no plans for an overall expansion of capacity
Azavedo had no estimate of the cost of the project, which is at the center of an ongoing engineering study by Fluor Corp (FLR.N). He said the study would likely conclude in September, after which "we are going to bid to do the conversion."
In October 2008 Petrobras was set to take over Astra Oil Trading's 50 percent stake in the Pasadena refinery which they jointly owned, after a dispute over its expansion. Petrobras had not confirmed the takeover until Gabrielli's comments at the annual CERAWeek conference in Houston. He did not say what Petrobras paid.
The two firms disagreed over the pace of investments to expand the plant and brought their dispute to arbitrators at the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, who deemed Petrobras could exercise an option to buy Astra's half.
Petrobras paid $360 million for a 50 percent stake in the refinery in 2006, and had supported doubling its capacity. (Reporting by Kristen Hays; editing by Jim Marshall)
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