SBM Offshore seeking clarification about Brazil tender exclusion

AMSTERDAM Wed May 28, 2014 2:43am EDT

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AMSTERDAM May 28 (Reuters) - Dutch oil platform leasing firm SBM Offshore NV said on Wednesday it was seeking clarification about its possible exclusion from bidding for offshore Brazilian contracts with state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known as Petrobras.

Maria das Gra├žas Foster, Petrobras' chief executive, told hearings before a Brazilian congressional committee on Tuesday that the oil company would not seek bids from SBM Offshore while it was under investigation for alleged bribery in Brazil.

SBM Offshore said in a statement it was in dialogue with Petrobras regarding participation in the upcoming Tartaruga Verde and Libra tenders.

The Dutch business said it "has deployed significant resources on bidding activities to date and as such is seeking clarification, legal and otherwise, for the potential exclusion from both tenders."

Brazilian senators are looking into allegations that Petrobras officials took bribes in exchange for steering contracts to SBM Offshore, as well as investigating alleged overpricing in the building of refineries in Brazil.

SBM is the largest leaser of floating oil production platforms known as FPSOs. Petrobras owns or leases the world's largest fleet of oil production ships.

SBM said in April an internal investigation found evidence its agents may have made improper payments to government officials in Equatorial Guinea and Angola between 2007 and 2011, but no evidence of such practices in Brazil. (Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Mark Potter)

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