UPDATE 1-SBM Offshore seeking clarification on Brazil tender exclusion
(Adds stock price fall, analyst comment)
AMSTERDAM May 28 (Reuters) - Dutch oil platform leasing firm SBM Offshore NV is seeking clarification about its exclusion from bidding for multi-billion dollar Brazilian contracts with state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known as Petrobras.
Petrobras Chief Executive Maria das Graças Foster told a Brazilian congressional committee hearing 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 shares fell as much as 9 percent in early trading on Wednesday.
The company said it was in talks with Petrobras regarding participation in the upcoming Tartaruga Verde and Libra tenders for floating production, storage and offloading vessels.
"While it is logical that SBM seeks clarification, we believe that it has no chance to return to the tender table while the investigation continues," ING analyst Quirijn Mulder wrote in a note to clients.
Brazilian senators are looking into allegations that Petrobras officials took bribes in exchange for steering contracts to SBM Offshore.
SBM said in April an internal investigation had found no evidence of improper payments in Brazil.
"There is also the risk that, if found guilty by the Brazilian Congress, Petrobras will not be allowed to accept SBM tenders for a longer period," Mulder said.
SBM Offshore 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."
The floating facilities will extract hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil and millions of cubic metres of gas per day from deep-water reserves off the Brazilian coast.
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.
($1 = 0.7345 Euros) (Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Erica Billingham)