By DENYSE GODOY and JUAN PABLO SPINETTO
Petroleo Brasileiro, Brazils state-controlled oil
company, is probing contracts tied to the $32 billion construction
of two refineries
after its former head of refining
was arrested for
allegedly taking bribes.
The company created two internal commissions to evaluate
agreements related to the Abreu e Lima and Comperj
refineries, and work should be completed within 60 days,
according to a regulatory filing dated April 30 that
doesnt mention the reason for the investigation.
chief Paulo Roberto Costa
was arrested March 20 for allegedly taking part in a
money-laundering scheme and accepting kickbacks related to
the Abreu e Lima project
between 2011 and 2013.
Petrobras, as the company is known, has spent $22.4 billion
on the two refineries, according to the filing. Abreu e Lima,
in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, will process 230,000
bpd when it opens in the fourth quarter, almost three years
behind schedule. Its $18.5 billion price tag compares with an
original budget of $2.5 billion.
The 150,000-bpd Comperj refinery
, in Rio de Janeiro, is
set to cost $13.5 billion by the time it opens in 2016, four
years later than originally planned and 61% more expensive.
CEO Maria das Gracas Foster had told newspaper O
Globo in an interview in March that the Rio-based oil
producer wouldnt be subjecting Abreu e Lima to an
The companys press office didnt immediately
respond to a phone call and an e-mail from Bloomberg
News seeking comment during a national holiday.
Costas lawyer, Fernando Fernandes, didnt respond
to a phone call to his office in Brasilia. Fernandes told
newspaper Folha de S.Paulo on April 25 that there is
no proof that the former director received any illegal
payments while he was with Petrobras.