May 17, 2018 / 11:37 PM / 7 days ago

Brazil's Petrobras says talks over 'transfer of rights' progress

SAO PAULO, May 17 (Reuters) - Petroleo Brasileiro SA said Thursday that talks with Brazil’s government were making progress in resolving a dispute over offshore oil blocks, but no conclusion has been reached so far.

Brazil’s government and the company are negotiating revised terms for the 2010 “transfer of rights” contract, through which the government exchanged exploratory rights over some subsalt oil exploration areas oil in exchange for Petrobras equity.

The company and the government are continuing talks to reach an agreement on the matter, Petrobras said in a statement on Thursday.

Earlier on Thursday, presidential chief of staff Eliseu Padilha said a deal to close the dispute was likely to be forged next week.

But later in the day, the Brazilian Finance Ministry said in a separate statement that whatever agreement is reached would be subject to consultation with Brazil’s audit court and its ministries of planning and mines and energy, factors that could further delay a final agreement.

Preferred shares in Petrobras fell 5.3 percent on Thursday to 25.95 reais and common shares lost 4.5 percent, closing at 30.21 reais on Brazilian stock exchange. (Reporting by Roberto Samora; Writing by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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