* Argentine sale part of $14.8 bln worldwide asset sale plan
* Firm owns Argentine refineries, pipelines, gas stations
* Petrobras has had difficulty selling Gulf of Mexico assets
By Leila Coimbra
RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 21 Brazil's state-led oil
company Petroleo Brasileiro SA is in advanced talks
to sell stakes in its refineries and other assets in Argentina
for $400 million to Argentine company Oil Combustibles, a source
close to Petrobras said on Thursday.
Reuters reported in November that Petrobras, as the company
is known, was interested in selling its stakes in the Dr.
Ricardo Eliçabe refinery in Buenos Aires and in the Refinor
refinery in the province of Salta.
Petrobras began taking bids for its Argentine assets in
December as part of its plan to sell an estimated $14.8 billion
of assets to help finance a $237 billion five-year expansion
plan, the world's largest corporate investment program.
In December, Reuters reported that Petrobras was having
trouble selling some assets, including $4 billion of offshore
oil and gas exploration licenses in the Gulf of
The oil company has scrambled to sell assets as fuel
subsides and declining production in Brazil have helped drive
debt levels beyond its own proposed limits and crimped cash
The source did not specify on Thursday how much of its
participation in the refineries Petrobras was in talks to sell.
A company spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter.
In early afternoon trading in Sao Paulo, Petrobras preferred
shares, the company's most-traded class of stock, fell 1.2
percent in line with declines in the broader market. The stock
has lost a quarter of its value in the past four months.