Rio de Janeiro, April 04, 2016 – Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras hereby responds to Official Letter 140/2016/CVM/SEP/GEA-1 requesting clarifications, as transcribed below:
Official Letter 140/2016/CVM/SEP/GEA-1
“Dear Executive Officer,
We present clarifications about the news item published today on the O Estado de São Paulo newspaper, Seção Economia (Economy Section), under the title: “China conditions the loan granted to Petrobras to the purchase of Chinese equipment”, which states that:
Currently Petrobras’ main financing agent, China has managed, upon every cash disbursement to the oil company, to impose the purchase of its equipment and services, jeopardizing Brazilian industry. The document obtained through ‘Broadcast’, the real time service of ‘Agência Estado’, shows that in a financing obtained in April 2015, Petrobras committed to purchase, in Chinese products, the equivalent to 60% of the amount of the loan totaling US$3.5 billion.
According to a source close to the state-owned company, the same agreement model has been replicated for all agreements signed recently with the China Development Bank (CDB).
The last transaction occurred last month, when US$10 billion was disbursed to Petrobras.
Officially, the company does not confirm that the access to the funds is conditioned to the purchase of products from the Asian country. It only declares that the agreements’ conditions are confidential. The company, however, was forced to provide clarifications to the Senate, which questioned the lack of transparency of the negotiations. Broadcast had access to the explanations sent to the senators.
The company’s choice to contract in China breaches the government’s local content policy and has been fostering a confrontation between the state-owned company and the National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuel Agency (ANP), responsible for monitoring the concession agreements for oil and gas exploration areas.
In these agreements, the oil companies commit to buy a minimum percentage of goods and services in Brazil. However, Petrobras, similarly to other major companies, has declared to the agency that it is impossible to comply with the requirements of the content policy. As a result, in certain cases, it would rather pay the fine than buy from Brazilian industry, whose prices and terms are worse than those in the international market.
In view of the above, we determined that you clarify whether the news item is true, and, if confirmed its veracity, the Company should explain the reasons why the information was not disclosed through a material fact and comment other information deemed relevant on the topic.”
Petrobras clarifies that, as disclosed on June 12, 2015, loans contracted from the China Development Bank (CDB) totaled US$5 billion last year.
These agreements required proof of purchase of equipment and services from Chinese companies in an amount equivalent to 60% of the borrowed amount. Said requirement was met through agreements entered into on dates prior to this loan agreement; as a result, it was not necessary to make new acquisitions from Chinese companies to secure the release of the funds.
On February 26, 2016, the Company also announced the execution of a Term Sheet with the CDB for a US$10 billion loan. This Agreement provides for the implementation of a trade agreement to supply oil to Chinese companies, at similar terms to run by the parties in 2009 and there is no obligation to buy Chinese products and services.