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Petrobras ‘Close’ to Gulf Asset Sales of Up to $8 Billion

Petroleo Brasileiro SA, the world’s biggest producer in deep waters, is “close” to selling part of its assets in the Gulf of Mexico for as much as $8 billion to help finance investments in Brazil.

Petrobras, based in Rio de Janeiro, has set up a team to accelerate its divestiture program, Chief Executive Officer Maria das Gracas Foster told reporters today in Sao Paulo. Petrobras, which has 186 exploration blocks in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, will raise at least $4 billion from the sale, she said.

Petrobras plans to procure $14.8 billion from asset sales and cost cuts as it focuses on developing the largest discoveries on Earth over the past decade in deep waters off the coast of Brazil. The company is investing $236.5 billion in the five years through 2016 to more than double output by 2020.

The company plans to complete the sale in the first quarter of next year, Petrobras Chief Financial Officer Almir Barbassa said Sept. 17.

Petrobras rose 0.3 percent, to 22.44 reais in Sao Paulo. The stock is up 4.3 percent this year, more than the 3 percent gain in Brazil’s benchmark stock index.

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