UPDATE 3-Petrobras says reviewing Okinawa refinery stake

* Brazil energy giant says Sumitomo to sell stake

* Petrobras evaluating possibly purchase

* Could use facility for Asia crude storage
(Recasts, updates with Petrobras statement)

RIO DE JANEIRO, April 1 (BestGrowthStock) – Brazilian state oil
company Petrobras said on Thursday it is looking at an offer by
Sumitomo Corp (8053.T: ) to sell the remaining stake in a
refinery mostly owned by Petrobras on the Japanese island of

Petrobras said Sumitomo notified it that it was interested
in selling its 12.5 percent stake in the refinery that is 87.5
percent owned by Petrobras.

Petrobras (PETR4.SA: )(PBR.N: ), which in 2008 bought 87.5
percent of the Nansei Sekiyu refinery for around 5.5 billion
yen ($56 million), said in a statement it “will analyize
Sumitomo’s interest based on the terms set forth in the
shareholders agreement.”

Japan’s Nikkei newspaper on Thursday reported Petrobras may
use the 100,000 barrel-per-day facility for crude storage as it
seeks to boost its presence in Asian markets. The paper said
this would be Japan’s first refinery fully owned by a foreign

A high-ranking Petrobras official speaking off the record
said he had heard nothing about such a purchase. A Petrobras
spokesman said the firm had no comment to make when contacted
by Reuters.

Petrobras said Sumitomo’s interest in selling the remaining
shares in the refinery was part of a revision of its downstream

The refinery has one crude distillation unit that is mostly
fitted out for light crude grades.

Petrobras had planned to upgrade the facility to receive
the heavier grades Brazil currently produces, but last year
said it could change that plan because discounts for heavy
versus light crude grades began to narrow.

Trading sources this month told Reuters that Petrobras will
begin selling medium-grade Roncador crude from Okinawa, using
the refinery’s storage tanks as a regional supply hub.

Market sources earlier this year said Petrobras will sell
as much as 2 million barrels out of Okinawa to Asian clients.


(Reporting by Denise Luna and Brian Ellsworth in Rio de
Janeiro and Shailesh Kuber in Bangalore; Editing by David

UPDATE 3-Petrobras says reviewing Okinawa refinery stake