SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA is looking to sell its refinery in Pasadena, Texas, for less than $200 million, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday, citing two sources, far less than its purchase price.
Petrobras, as the company is known, paid $1.2 billion in two installments in 2006 and 2012.
The acquisition is being investigated by federal prosecutors, who say the refinery cost many times what it was worth and that bribes may have been paid as part of the purchase. Prosecutors are conducting of a wider investigation into corruption at Petrobras.
Environmental liabilities also reduced the value of the refinery, according to the sources cited by Bloomberg, who requested anonymity since the process is confidential.
Press representatives from Petrobras did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.
A sale of the refinery could bring Petrobras closer to its goal of divesting up to $21 billion in assets by the end of 2018 as it tries to cut debt and focus on core activities.
Last week, Chief Executive Officer Pedro Parente said he is confident the company will meet that target comfortably despite a drop in crude prices.
Reporting by Bruno Federowski and Luciano Costa; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe