Oil and Gas

Petrobras to exit PDVSA partnership, finish refinery alone -paper

BRASILIA, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras will abandon a partnership with Venezuelan counterpart PDVSA in a long-delayed oil refinery in northeastern Brazil, a local newspaper reported on Tuesday.

As of Nov. 1, the Abreu e Lima refinery will become a unit of Petrobras instead of a joint venture between the two state companies, financial newspaper Valor Economico said in a report, without citing sources.

A Petrobras spokesman declined to comment on the report. A PDVSA spokesperson could not immediately be reached.

The partnership between the two companies has been troubled since it started. Petrobras has said PDVSA has not paid for its 40 percent stake in the 230,000-barrel-a-day heavy-oil complex, whose cost ballooned to about $17 billion.

The refinery, which was announced in 2007, was originally expected to be operational by 2010. It is now expected to start output in late 2014.

Petrobras, which had planned on taking a 60 percent stake in the project, has said in the past that it will complete the refinery and operate it with or without PDVSA.