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Petrobras analysing best model for selling new group of gas pipelines: CFO

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Brazil's state-controlled oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, is analysing the best model for including a new group of natural gas pipelines in its divestment program, chief financial officer Rafael Grisolia told reporters on Wednesday.

[SAO PAULO] Brazil's state-controlled oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, is analysing the best model for including a new group of natural gas pipelines in its divestment program, chief financial officer Rafael Grisolia told reporters on Wednesday.

Reuters reported earlier this month that Petrobras, as the company is known, was preparing to sell three more gas pipelines after successfully selling its larger TAG unit to France's Engie for US$8.6 billion.

Mr Grisolia said Petrobras was analysing whether to sell the three gas pipelines that link pre-salt oil fields to onshore infrastructure as a single block or if they can be divided for the sale process. Analysts expect the pipelines to be valued above US$3 billion.

Mr Grisolia also said the oil company would "probably" reduce its stake in the fuel distribution unit Petrobras Distribuidora SA to below 50 per cent from the current 71 per cent, effectively privatising the unit through a secondary share offering.

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Reuters reported on Tuesday the company had hired nine banks to manage the transaction. The offering of BR Distribuidora shares will be led by the investment banking units of Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

"A private BR Distribuidora would be much more competitive", Mr Grisolia said.

The CFO said the government was not determining fuel prices or intervening in Petrobras and that all the recent decisions regarding prices were taken by the company.

REUTERS