March 20, 2020 / 12:35 PM / 14 days ago

UPDATE 2-Brazil's Petrobras extends deadline for refinery bids

(Adds announcement of company drawing $8 billion in credit lines)

By Tatiana Bautzer and Carolina Mandl

SAO PAULO, March 20 (Reuters) - Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras will push back the deadline on binding offers for eight of its refineries, according to a securities filing on Friday, after plunging oil prices scrambled efforts to raise more than $10 billion.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the firm is formally known, is likely to postpone the deadline by 30 to 60 days, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter, requesting anonymity because the timeline had not been announced yet.

The source said Petrobras decided to extend the deadline as extreme volatility in global oil prices demands the attention of senior executives from several bidders. Travel disruptions have also gotten in the way of their visits to Brazil.

Bidders for the refineries include U.S., Chinese and Middle Eastern investors, Reuters reported in January.

The company also announced on Friday it is asking its banks to draw $8 billion from its revolving credit lines, as a way to strengthen liquidity amid the oil prices shock and coronavirus pandemic. (Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer and Carolina Mandl Editing by Brad Haynes and Steve Orlofsky)

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