Brazil's troubled oil giant Petrobras said selling offshore fields worth up to US$2b

A worker paints a tank of Brazil's state-run Petrobras oil company in this Sept 30, 2015 file photo.
A worker paints a tank of Brazil's state-run Petrobras oil company in this Sept 30, 2015 file photo.PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO (BLOOMBERG) - Petroleo Brasileiro or Petrobras is marketing offshore oil and natural gas fields worth as much as US$2 billion as part of its plan to sell assets and pay down debt, said two people familiar with the matter.

Three fields - Bauna, Golfinho and Tartaruga - are for sale, said one person, who asked not to be named because the information isn't public. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is coordinating the sales, said the people.

Petro Rio and LetterOne Holdings have put in offers for the Bauna field, said one of the people. Karoon Gas Australia Ltd is also bidding, according to a press person for the company.

The Brazilian state-run oil producer is cutting spending and selling assets after crude prices tumbled and Brazil's biggest corruption scandal led to management changes. The producer aims to raise US$14.4 billion from asset sales this year. Petrobras has 90 days to give a response, one of the people said.

Petrobras' plight has hit Singapore's huge rig builders Keppel Corp and Sembcorp Marine, and trickled downstream to offshore-marine companies. Nearly half of Keppel and Sembmarine's orders are from Sete Brasil, a Brazilian rig supplier that is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy after its sole customer Petrobras became engulfed in the corruption scandal.

Petro Rio didn't immediately reply to an e-mailed request for comment. LetterOne declined to comment. Petrobras is in quiet period and declined to comment, a company spokesperson said by phone.