Brazil Investigating Petrobras, OGX in Antitrust Law

Brazil’s antitrust agency Cade is pending an investigation into the country’s oil company OGX (Petroleo e Gas Participacpes S.A.), controlled by billionaire Eike Batista, and government-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, on whether a violation of the country’s antitrust law was made.

The agency said this violation may have occurred in November 2012 when a deal was made on Petrobras’ agreement to sell a 40 percent stake in the BS-4 oil block to OGX for $270 million.

Cade has accused OGX of acquiring the stake without its approval, stated the agency’s press office in an email. The new Brazilian Competition Law, which launched last year in May, forces mergers and acquisitions to receive approval from Cade prior to finalization of the deal.

If the agency decides that the two companies are in violation, they are subject to fines between $27,000 to $27 million (60,000 to 60 million Brazilian reais).

Since the BS-4 block deal is still subject to approval by Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency, OGX claims there is no violation, the company said in a release.

 The block contains two post-salt oil fields known as Atlanta and Oliva which lie in the Santos Basin. The fields are located 115 miles off the Brazilian coast at a water depth of around 4,921 feet with oil quality from 14 degree to 16 degree API, according to OGX.


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