Brazil's Vale evaluating proposals for oil, natural gas assets
BY JEFF FICK
RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brazilian mining heavyweight Vale is still in the process of selling its oil and natural gas exploration assets, Chief Financial Officer Luciano Siani said.
"We've already received proposals and are evaluating those proposals," Mr. Siani said during a conference call with reporters. Vale said last year that it was considering a sale of its oil field stakes, in a move to concentrate resources on key projects including its core iron ore business.
The process is continuing as the company adjusts its investment plans amid a global economic slowdown that has undercut demand and prices for minerals and metals.
Vale is a partner with state run energy firm Petrobras in 14 oil and gas blocks in Brazil's Espirito Santo, Para Maranhao, Parnaiba and Santos basins. Petrobras, which as Vale's partner will have the right of first refusal on purchase of the stakes once they are put up for sale, previously said it was evaluating the blocks.
Vale Director Vania Somavilla said on June 26 that the company was considering retaining some of its natural gas assets to produce gas for its own needs. Vale holds stakes in a total of 19 oil and natural gas exploration blocks in Brazil.
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