Dutch oil and gas platform leasing company SBM Offshore has denied a media report that claimed the company agreed to a $1.7bn settlement with Brazilian authorities over a bribery case.

In a statement, the company said: "Discussions with Brazilian authorities are at an early stage and no numbers have been agreed upon."

A report by Folha de S Paulo alleged that the company had agreed to a $1.7bn settlement over bribery charges.

"Discussions with Brazilian authorities are at an early stage and no numbers have been agreed upon."

In November last year, the Schiedam-based firm settled a case with Dutch authorities for $240m. It was then accused of allegedly making improper payments to sales agents and government officials in Brazil, Equatorial Guinea and Angola between 2007 and 2011, reported Reuters.

SBM Offshore has been stopped from making bids on new contracts in Brazil due to the bribery allegations.

Brazilian police authorities believe SBM Offshore is one of more than 20 companies to have paid bribes to secure contracts with state-run firm Petrobras.

According to Dutch prosecutors, the sales agents of the company received approximately €139m in commissions. These agents made payments to the Brazilian government officials through overseas entities.

Considered to be the world’s leading leaser of floating oil production ships known as FPSOs, SBM employs more than 10,000 people worldwide.