TCU says Petrobras sold refinery at below-market price and evaluates suspending business

TCU says Petrobras sold refinery at below-market price and evaluates suspending business
TCU says Petrobras sold refinery at below-market price and evaluates suspending business

Technicians from the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU) have five working days to analyze whether they are going to ask for the suspension of the sale of the Landulpho Alves Refinery (Rlam) by Petrobrás to Mubadala, the UAE’s financial fund, announced on the last 24th. The measure has with the objective of avoiding “damage to the public interest”, as Minister Walton Alencar said in plenary, this Wednesday.


TCU questions the value of US $ 1.65 billion closed with Mubadala, which would be below the market price of US $ 3.04 billion, defined by Petrobras itself.

“I received a letter from the Deputy Attorney General, Lucas Rocha Furtado, highlighting the recent decision by the Petrobras board of directors to sell the Landulpho Alves Refinery (Rlam) at prices below its market value,” said the minister, in today’s session.

When questioned, the company sent to the court the reasons why its board of directors and board of directors approved the sale of the refinery below this amount. With the documents in hand, the minister handed over to the technical area the responsibility for definitively analyzing the case.

“Given the risk of concluding the deal before this Court can deal with the matter, with possible damage to the public interest, as well as considering the consequences that this decision may have on the sale of the other refineries, I believe it is essential to determine that the Technical Unit submit to this Rapporteur, in 5 working days, a conclusive analysis regarding the need or not to grant injunctions for the suspension of the sale in progress “, affirmed Alencar, in plenary.

Since the negotiations with Mubadala were concluded, the amount of US $ 1.65 billion, to be paid by the fund, has been questioned by the market. The Institute for Strategic Studies of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (Ineep) estimated Rlam at US $ 3 billion. While BTG Pactual bank analysts say that the total to be paid for the asset is 35% below the lower limit projected by them. XP Investimentos estimates that, with this money, Petrobras will be able to achieve a very small portion of its financial goals.

The criticisms led the president of the oil company, Roberto Castello Branco, to distribute a letter to his employees, last Monday, to justify the sale of Rlam. He will step down next month. “There was no exaggerated haste, there was no approval to turn off the lights of the current administration,” he said.

The president of Petrobrás also said that the sale was not a job or “decision of a person or a small group” and that “lying is the main weapon of the radicals”. In the end, he apologized for the long text, arguing that he owed the employees clarification.

Castello Branco was fired on February 19 after readjusting gasoline and diesel oil by about 50% in just over two months. His departure was announced by the President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, through social media, after successive criticisms of his administration. Bolsonaro was especially irritated by Castello Branco’s speech, in a virtual event, that the problem of fuel prices is not the state’s, but the age of the fleet of autonomous truck drivers and the poor quality of the roads. (With Agência Estado)

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