By Anthony Harrup

Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro said Wednesday that the country's antitrust regulators approved changes in a divestment agreement that would allow the company to keep certain refining and natural gas assets that it had been required to sell.

In 2019, under the previous government administration, an agreement between Petrobras and the regulator called for the company to divest itself of eight refineries and natural gas assets to generate competition in the market.

Petrobras said it had sold its stakes in three refineries, but ran into problems unloading the rest. It also sold most of the natural gas assets in the agreement except for Transportadora Brasileira Gasoduto Bolivia-Brasil, or TBG, which operates a natural gas pipeline between Brazil and Bolivia.

The amended agreement relieves Petrobras of the obligation to sell its stakes in the other five refineries, while imposing measures to guarantee nondiscriminatory supply of oil to independent refineries in Brazil, the company said. Petrobras will no longer sell its stake in TBG, but also agreed to measures to ensure the gas transport company's independence, "thus eliminating any concerns regarding the preservation of competitiveness in the Brazilian natural gas market," Petrobras said.

Write to Anthony Harrup at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-22-24 1614ET