January 18, 2017 / 10:32 PM / a year ago

Petrobras to appeal ruling suspending Libra platform bidding

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Petróleo Brasileiro SA will appeal a court decision that suspended bidding for the lease of a first floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) platform for the giant Libra off-shore oil field, the company said on Wednesday.

The Brazilian shipbuilders association Sinaval obtained an injunction suspending the bidding process based on its argument that the auction did not comply with Brazil’s rules for local content.

Libra, in the subsalt region of the Santos basin, is Brazil’s largest oil reserve with an estimated 8 to 10 billion barrels of oil that are a key operation for the recovery of state-controlled oil company Petrobras.

The first production platform is scheduled to start operating in 2020.

Petrobras won a first decision arguing that it had tried to comply with local content rules but the tenders were too costly, but Sinaval succeeded in overturning that ruling.

“Petrobras will appeal against the injunction that suspended the bidding for the Libra FPSO lease,” the company said in a statement.

Petrobras exploration and production director Solange Guedes said last week that the Libra consortium should be freed of the local content obligations so it could lease a platform.

The Libra consortium is operated by Petrobras (40 percent), Shell (20 percent), Total (20 percent) and Chinese companies CNPC and CNOOC (10 percent each). (Reporting by Marta Nogueira; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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