August 2, 2011 / 5:35 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 2-Petrobras sees $13.6 bln in asset sales in 2 years

* Company plans $13.6 bln in asset sales to raise cash

* Expects to start now, complete sales in two years

* No plans to sell stock before 2020 (Rewrites with asset sales, adds CEO quote)

NEW YORK, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras expects within two years to sell $13.6 billion in assets that may include stakes in the offshore Campos Basin, the company’s chief executive said on Tuesday.

Petrobras’ (PETR4.SA) $225 billion 2011-2015 business plan says the asset sales would shore up its balance sheet, though the company has previously given few details on what may be sold.

“Banks are lining up for the chance to sell (the assets) for us,” CEO Jose Sergio Gabrielli told reporters, adding the sales could begin immediately.

The assets could include “isolated” fields in the Campos Basin, which currently provides the lion’s share of the firm’s roughly 2 million barrels per day of oil production.

“These would not be priority blocks. We are not about to sell off the Campos Basin,” Gabrielli said.

Physical assets would also include stakes in other oil fields Petrobras operates, as well as stakes in companies it owns inside and outside Brazil, although Petrobras has no plans to sell stakes in its most prolific new oil play, Brazil’s offshore subsalt oil discoveries.

Sources close to the company told Reuters earlier that the divestments may focus on South American assets in countries such as Ecuador, Argentina and Bolivia, where government intervention has lowered the margins on projects there.

Gabrielli said that half of the $13.6 billion in asset sales could be physical assets. Of those, around half could be sold in Brazil while half could be abroad, he added.

Another aspect of the Petrobras divestment plans would be selling or restructuring financial assets, accounting for the other half of the program, company officials said. That could involve transactions allowing banks to finance Petrobras projects where the company has cash tied up now, allowing it access to billions in extra working capital, Gabrielli said.

Petrobras plans to more than double oil output in Brazil by 2020 to reach 4.9 million barrels per day, mostly by tapping ultra-deep water subsalt fields off the coast of Brazil.

The company expects that it could be cash flow-positive around 2016. Gabrielli said the company’s market capitalization may double by 2020.

The company sees no need to sell shares again before 2020, following last year’s mammoth $70 billion share sale that included an oil-for-swap agreement with the government, Chief Financial Officer Almir Barbassa said. (Additional reporting by Brian Ellsworth in Rio de Janeiro) (Reporting by Joshua Schneyer in New York, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

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