(Adds stock price fall, analyst comment)
AMSTERDAM May 28 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
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)