March 13, 2019 / 9:26 PM / 2 months ago

CERAWEEK-Brazil, Petrobras in talks to prevent regional monopolies after refinery sales

HOUSTON, March 13 (Reuters) - The Brazilian government and its state-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro SA have begun talks with “many actors” about steps to prevent regional monopolies after the oil company divests some of its refineries, Brazil’s minister of mines and energy said at an energy conference on Wednesday.

Petrobras said last year it would sell some of its refineries in the Northeastern and Southern regions. The move is part of an effort to pay off its high debt load after becoming entangled in a corruption scandal.

“This is a process that we have been discussing among Petrobras, the government, and we are talking with many actors to deal with this subject,” said Bento Albuquerque, Brazil’s minister of mines and energy, in an interview on the sidelines of IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston.

Reporting by Collin Eaton in Houston; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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