Petroleos Brasileiros (Petrobras), Brazil’s state-owned oil company, has sold its participation in the BM-S-8 pre-salt exploration project to Statoil in order to repay part of its debt to the Brazilian development bank (BNDES).

The R$5.7bn financing (which was worth around US$3.3bn at the time) was extended to Transportadora Associada de Gás (TAG) in 2009, as part of a R$25bn funding package to three Petrobras subsidiaries. On November 28, Petrobras used the US$1.25bn (currently worth R$4.24bn) it received from the sale of its BM-S-8 stake for the early partial liquidation of this contract.

“This is one of the important measures that are being adopted by Petrobras to use the resources coming from the divestment programme to indebtedness,” reads a statement published by the firm.

Due to the significant changes in exchange rates since 2009, it is unclear how much of the loan is left to repay. When contacted by GTR, BNDES was unable to disclose the remaining due to client confidentiality, and Petrobras said the information was confidential.