March 31, 2014 / 1:58 PM / in 6 years

Petrobras finds no evidence of bribes in SBM Offshore probe

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 31 (Reuters) - Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras said on Monday that an internal investigation of alleged corruption by Dutch oil-platform leasing company SBM Offshore NV found no evidence of bribes paid to Petrobras employees.

The company has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months after allegations surfaced in February that SBM, the world’s largest leaser of floating oil production ships, may have paid $139 million in bribes to Petrobras officials through an intermediary.

Petrobras, formally known as Petroleo Brasileiro SA, made the announcement in a paid advertisement in the Folha de S. Paulo daily newspaper.

The Rio de Janeiro-based company said it would share the information it obtained during the one-month probe with the Brazilian government’s Controller-General, the federal public-accounts audit court and federal prosecutors.

Petrobras said it has also opened an internal investigation into its purchase of the Pasadena Refinery in Pasadena, Texas.

Concerns have been raised about the $1.18 billion purchase of the Pasadena Refinery between 2006 and 2012. The refinery may have only been worth about $50 million, Brazil’s federal public accounts audit court has said, and opposition leaders in Congress are trying to open a investigation of the purchase.

Schiedam, Holland-based SBM said in a note on Monday that it hoped to release more information about its own internal investigation in the coming days. (Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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