Petróleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) is awaiting final approval from federal regulators on the operator’s previously signed contract for the sale of its 10,400-b/d Lubrificantes e Derivados de Petróleo do Nordeste (LUBNOR) refinery in Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil (OGJ Online, Dec. 1, 2022).
On Feb. 8, the court of Brazilian regulators the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) approved an order from councilors requesting additional time for analysis of the operator’s proposed sale of LUBNOR, Petrobras said.
The CADE court’s request for extra time to review the planned sale is part of typical procedures during the regulated sale process, according to the company.
While it did not reveal a timeframe for the proposed additional review period, Petrobras said it must now await CADE’s final decision on planned sale.
The update on the proposed LUBNOR divestment follows a deal Petrobras signed in May 2022 under which Grepar Participações Ltda.—jointly owned by Grecor Investimentos em Participações Societárias Ltda., Greca Distribuidora de Asfaltos Ltda. and Holding GV Participações SA—agreed to acquire Petrobras’s ownership interest the LUBNOR refinery and associated logistics assets for an overall purchase price of $34 million, $3.4 million of which was paid as a guarantee at the contract signing, with $9.6 million to be paid upon closing of the transaction, and the remaining $21 million in deferred payments, pending compliance with precedent conditions, including final approval by CADE (OGJ Online, May 26, 2022).
One of Brazil’s leading asphalt production plants and the country’s only refinery equipped to produce naphthenic lubricants, LUBNOR processes ultra-heavy Brazilian crude oil from Espírito Santo basin and the Ceará cluster.
The LUBNOR sales processes is governed by a June 2019 agreement between Petrobras and CADE governing the operator’s broader ongoing program to divest most of its Brazilian refining and related logistics assets, as well as the opening of Brazil’s refining sector to increased competitiveness and transparency.
As part of its portfolio management strategy and improved allocation of its capital, Petrobras will continue to concentrate investments on assets with lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that have proved more competitive over the years.