Petrobras should not cut investment on corruption probe -minister

miércoles 21 de enero de 2015 14:24 GYT

By Jeferson Ribeiro and Alonso Soto

BRASILIA Jan 21 (Reuters) - Brazil's state-run oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA does not need to cut its multi-billion dollar investment plan in the wake of a growing corruption scandal, Mines and Energy Minister Eduardo Braga told Reuters on Wednesday.

Revelations of price fixing, bribery and political kickbacks at Petrobras, as the company is known, and a sharp fall in oil prices have locked the company out of capital markets and reduced revenue, prompting company officials to say they expect to reduce spending under a five-year, $221-billion investment plan.

When asked if Petrobras should reduce its investments, Braga said: "No, not necessarily unless we have other factors."

Braga, who took office on Jan. 2, did not say which other factors he as referring to.

On Dec. 17, Jose Formigli, the company's exploration and production chief said investment would be cut to preserve cash and avoid new borrowing at the Rio de Janeiro based company, the world's most indebted and least profitable oil industry major.

($1 = 2.6059 Brazilian reais) (Additional reporting by Leonardo Goy)