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Brazil's Petrobras strikes deal with regulator to sell natgas assets

Brazilian state-owned oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA has reached an agreement with anti-trust regulator Cade to sell off a series of natural gas transportation and distribution assets, the company said in an exchange filing. 

Petrobras, as the company is commonly known, said it had pledged to sell stakes in pipeline networks including a 10% stake in Nova Transportadora do Sudeste (NTS) SA, 10% in Transportadora Associada de Gas (TAG) SA and 51% in Transportadora Brasileira Gasoduto Bolivia-Brasil (TBG) SA.

It would also sell its indirect ownership in distribution companies, possibly by selling its 51% ownership in subsidiary Gaspetro or the stakes themselves.

The deal comes as Brazil's government seeks to break up the company's dominance of the sector in a plan that Economy Minister Paulo Guedes has said will deliver "a shock of cheap energy" to the country.

"The objective of the agreement is to preserve and protect competitive conditions, in light of the opening of the Brazilian natural gas market, to incentivize the entry of new market actors, as well as suspend Cade's administrative procedures investigating Petrobras' actions in the sector," the company said in its filing.

GloboNews TV channel had reported the deal earlier on Monday, saying the sales are expected to be carried out by 2021. (Reporting by Jake Spring Editing by Susan Thomas and Diane Craft)


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