Petrobras said to take Argentine oilfield bids next month

8/18/2014

Petrobras said to take Argentine oilfield bids next month

RODRIGO ORIHUELA

RIO DE JANEIRO (Bloomberg) -- Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Latin America’s largest publicly traded company, will start receiving bids for Argentine oilfields next month, according to a person with direct knowledge of the sale.

Petrobras Argentina SA, a unit of Brazil’s state-run oil producer, will take offers for fields in southern Argentina from Sept. 12, said the person, who asked not to be named because the process isn’t public. Prospective bidders will be able to access data on the assets this month, the person said.

The Argentina unit approved the sale of four fields last month with billionaire Eduardo Eurnekian’s Cia. General de Combustibles SA granted right of first refusal on two of them, a person familiar with the decision said at the time. Petrobras, which canceled an attempt to market Argentine assets last year, sold a stake in the Puesto Hernandez production area in Neuquen province to state-owned YPF SA in January. A month later, YPF agreed to buy assets from Apache Corp.

A press officer at Petrobras in Rio de Janeiro, who can’t be named under corporate policy, didn’t immediately provide a comment on the sale. Petrobras Argentina’s American Depositary Receipts rose 3.4% to $6.27 at 3:25 p.m. in New York, extending a gain this year to 13%. Trading in Buenos Aires was closed today, Aug. 18, for a public holiday.

The Petrobras assets that are going on sale in southern Argentina are worth about $300 million, Buenos Aires-based newspaper La Nacion reported on July 25, citing a person familiar with the transaction, who wasn’t identified.

Petrobras hired Bank of Nova Scotia to sell assets including a refinery, petrochemical plants and oil and gas fields, a person with knowledge of the decision told Bloomberg in March. Devinder Lamsar, a press officer at Scotia, didn’t immediately provide a comment when contacted by email today.

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