February 25, 2016 / 2:12 PM / a year ago

Petrobras may get $6 billion in sale of natgas pipeline unit: paper

The Brazil's state-run Petrobras oil company headquarters is pictured in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, January 28, 2016.Sergio Moraes

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil's state-led oil company Petrobras (PETR4.SA) is expected to fetch as much as $6 billion from the sale of a natural gas pipeline unit in Brazil's industrialized southeast, the Valor Economico daily newspaper reported on Thursday.

Bids of between $5 billion and $6 billion for Nova Transportadora do Sudeste are expected by a Tuesday deadline from Canadian, French and Chinese companies, the paper said, without citing the source for its information.

Potential bidders include Canada's Brookfield Asset Management Inc (BAMa.TO), China National Petroleum Corp [CNPET.UL], and a joint venture between the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board [CPPIBC.UL] and France's Engie SA (ENGIE.PA), Valor reported.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the oil company is formally known, has plans to sell about $14 billion of assets this year in an attempt to cut its debt and maintain cash amid a plunge in world oil prices and a corruption scandal at the company.

Petrobras' estimated $130 billion of debt is the largest in the oil industry and one of the largest of any industrial company in the world.

A Brookfield press spokesman in Toronto declined to comment when contacted by Reuters. Engie's press office in Rio de Janeiro declined to comment. A Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board press official in Toronto declined to comment. CNPC officials did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Petrobras' press office declined to comment in an emailed response to questions.

Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Marguerita Choy

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