• Company doesn’t disclose terms of transaction in filing
  • Pipeline unit’s value estimated at more than $5 billion

Petroleo Brasileiro SA completed negotiations to sell a natural gas distribution network to a group led by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. as it pursues an aggressive divestment strategy to reduce debt.

The Rio de Janeiro-based oil producer said in a filing Thursday that the sale of the Nova Transportadora do Sudeste SA gas pipelines and storage unit still needs approval of its internal statutory body. While Petrobras didn’t release the value of the transaction, it had been estimated at more than $5 billion.

The state-controlled company has set a $15.1 billion asset sale target for the two years through 2016 to reduce the heftiest debt load in oil the industry. After selling a mere $700 million of assets in 2015, Petrobras has accelerated negotiations since Pedro Parente took over as chief executive officer in June. It will continue to sell assets in the coming years as part of an effort to halve its debt, Parente said last week.

The company has sold assets in Argentina, Chile and Brazil, including the July sale of the giant Carcara offshore field to Statoil ASA for $2.5 billion, one of the largest ever by Petrobras.

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