Petrobras expects to announce good news related to the sale of assets, in an important step in the search to reduce the company’s debt, the president of the state oil company, Roberto Castello Branco, said on Tuesday in a videoconference transmitted by Safra Bank.
The executive, who did not give details about the deals that could be announced, also acknowledged that the new coronavirus could have an impact on the progress of the company’s billionaire divestment plan, but stressed that so far this has not been observed.
“What the recession (predicted due to the coronavirus) influences is perhaps the delay in the execution of some projects, but until now it (divestment program) remains intact. In a short time, we will have good news to announce with the realization of some sales ”, said Castello Branco, during the transmission, via internet.
The president pointed out that the main group of assets offered for sale by the company involves eight refineries and their associated infrastructure.
According to him, there were no manifestations of disinterest on the part of the proponents who passed on to the phase of binding offers in the divestment process. Thus, the company is confident that it will be able to sign agreements for the sale of refineries by the end of this year, to conclude business in 2021.
The divestment plan aims to allow the company to focus on the assets with the highest financial return, essentially in oil production in deep waters, and to reduce the debt, which stood at around US $ 89 billion at the end of the first quarter, compared to US $ 87 billion in the first quarter of 2019.
Castello Branco pointed out that “in the current context, keeping debt constant will be a victory”.
Petrobras’ goal is to end the year with a gross debt of 87 billion dollars.