Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras has reached new terms of agreement with the country’s antitrust regulator to retain the oil refineries it hasn’t previously sold.

The conditions of the original 2019 agreement, which was signed by the government of former President Jair Bolsonaro, required Petrobras to slash its market share in the country’s oil and gas industry and allow new businesses to enter the market.  

The Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE), the regulatory body, has now consented to modify two terms of cessation commitments (TCCs), thereby terminating the company’s obligation to sell off specific assets.

The amendments pertain to the Term of Cessation Commitment for the Refining Market (TCC Refino), concerning the refining market, and the Term of Cessation Commitment for Gas (TCC Gas), which addresses access to natural gas infrastructure.

Approved by the Administrative Court of Cade, the amendments introduce new commitments for Petrobras.

These include the establishment of data monitoring mechanisms to ensure non-discriminatory pricing in the oil and derivatives market and the publication of guidelines for non-discriminatory oil deliveries to independent refineries.

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Additionally, Petrobras will offer contracts allowing ‘load by load’ negotiations for sea deliveries to independent refineries.

The original Gas TCC required Petrobras to divest from several subsidiaries, including Nova Transportadora do Sudeste, Transportadora Associada de Gás, Transportadora Brasileira Gasoduto Bolivia-Brasil (TBG), as well as its indirect stake in Petrobras Gás.

However, the new Gas Law necessitated a review of these commitments.

The amendment now includes additional safeguards for electing independent members to the TBG board of directors.

CADE has the authority to impose fines or revoke appointments if the terms are not met.

The amendment also ensures the independence of TBG’s commercial directorate from Petrobras and restricts the assignment of Petrobras employees to TBG’s commercial directorate.

The obligations outlined in the amended Gas TCC will remain in effect until 04 March 2039, aligning with the deverticalisation timeline set by the New Gas Law.

The change will allow the Brazilian company to retain control over five refineries. As per the previous terms, Petrobras divested its stake in three refineries.