(Adds details on money laundering allegations)
SAO PAULO, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Brazil’s state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA said on Thursday it would delay the release of its third-quarter earnings report to allow more time to investigate corruption allegations.
The company, known as Petrobras, plans to report its earnings on Dec. 12 and not on Friday, the last day it could have done so without incurring hefty fines.
Petrobras said in a securities filing the release had been delayed so that two law firms it hired would have more time to look into potential money laundering and “proceed to possible adjustments in financial statements.”
Brazil’s federal police have been investigating allegations that kickbacks from Petrobras contractors were funneled to President Dilma Rousseff’s Worker’s Party and its allies in Congress, a case known as “Operation Car Wash.”
Local newspaper Estado de S. Paulo reported earlier this month that PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which audits Petrobras’ earnings, had refused to sign off on the third-quarter statement without a more in-depth internal investigation.
Petrobras said on Thursday its results had not yet been reviewed by external auditors.
Petrobras’ failure to deliver audited results before year-end could put the company technically in default on dozens of billions of dollars in bonds.
Petrobras hired Brazilian law firm Trench, Rossi and Watanabe and global law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher last month to investigate possible deviations of company resources. (Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Chris Reese and Andrew Hay)