Petrobras pulls Karoon deal
Petrobras has struck down a deal with Karoon Gas Australia Ltd. to potentially sell its participation in the Baúna and Tartaruga Verde oil fields.
Karoon said that Petrobras intends to reinitiate a sales process for the assets, adhering to its revised divestment process methodology which complies with the Brazilian Federal Accounting Court’s (TCU) requirements.
The transaction was part of the company’s plan to divest around $35 billion of assets during 2015-2018 to reduce its debt. It covered Petrobras’ 100% stake in the Baúna field, located in shallow-water of the postsalt Santos basin, and a 50% non-operated stake in the Tartaruga Verde field, located in deepwaters of the postsalt Campos basin.
However, in December 2016, Karoon said that court proceedings were initiated against the potential sale in the Federal Court of Sergpipe alleging that Petrobras did not follow the correct sale process. An injunction was granted in November 2016, suspending the potential sale.
Although it released a statement a few weeks ago confirming that the deal was still in play, Reuters reported at the end of March that Petrobras withdrew its appeal to the Supreme Court blocking the fields’ sale.
Karoon Managing Director Robert Hosking said: “It is disappointing that Karoon is no longer in exclusive negotiations relating to the acquisition of Baúna and Tartaruga. The court proceedings, which are yet to be heard, made the timing and outcome of the sales process uncertain.
“Reinitiating the divestment process under Petrobras’ revised methodology will help to reduce the risk of any future court action against a potential sale, providing greater certainty for the successful bidder. Karoon remains engaged with interested potential partners and is committed to any future process relating to these assets.
“Based on Petrobras’ existing divestment program targets and the recent TCU ruling, Karoon believes any reinitiated process relating to these assets could be imminent.”