Brazil: STF adia julgamento sobre desinvestimentos da Petrobras em campos de petróleo

Last Updated: 26 June 2019
Article by Veirano E Advogados Associados
Most Read Contributor in Brazil, July 2019

O Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF) adiou nesta quarta-feira, sem indicar novo dia para julgamento, a apreciação de um processo sobre um decreto que define regras de governança para cessão de direitos de exploração, desenvolvimento e produção de petróleo e gás pela Petrobras.

O caso, importante para a empresa levar a cabo a sua política de desinvestimentos, era o primeiro item da pauta do plenário nesta quarta, mas os ministros passaram a maior parte da sessão analisando um decreto que questiona a decisão do presidente Jair Bolsonaro de extinguir conselhos federais criados por lei.

Segundo o presidente do STF, Dias Toffoli, o caso sobre os conselhos será retomado na sessão de quinta-feira.

Toffoli não se manifestou sobre o julgamento do processo referente ao decreto da Petrobras —na prática, não se tem data para ele voltar para a pauta.

Com o resultado do julgamento da semana passada, quando o STF liberou a venda de subsidiárias sem a necessidade de aval do Congresso desde que passem por concorrência pública, a expectativa da estatal era de obter uma nova vitória, disse uma fonte da empresa com conhecimento do assunto.

Os desinvestimentos são importantes para que a empresa possa focar na exploração e produção no pré-sal, onde estão campos com elevada produtividade que a Petrobras definiu como prioridade.

Nesta quarta, os ministros do Supremo iriam julgar se mantêm ou cassam a validade do decreto referente aos contratos de exploração da companhia, que foi questionado pelo PT. Além disso, o STF deveria decidir sobre um item da norma que discute uma exigência de a empresa fazer licitação para a contratação de bens e serviços nos casos em que a Petrobras lidera um consórcio.

Em dezembro do ano passado, o ministro Marco Aurélio Mello concedeu liminar e suspendeu os efeitos da norma sob a alegação de que invadia a competência do Congresso em fixar tais regras.

Menos de um mês depois, o presidente da corte, Dias Toffoli, atendeu a pedido feito pela Advocacia Geral da União e cassou a decisão de Marco Aurélio, restabelecendo os efeitos do decreto. Agora, o plenário iria dar a palavra final, se o decreto permanece em vigor ou terá efeitos suspensos.

Segundo a fonte, que falou na condição de anonimato, o caso julgado na semana passada pelo STF e o originalmente previsto para esta quarta-feira têm “muita afinidade”, e a empresa, em ambos os casos, realiza um procedimento competitivo para desinvestir.

O decreto em questionamento, o 9.355, foi assinado pelo presidente Michel Temer, como forma de reforçar um acordo anterior fechado entre Petrobras e Tribunal de Contas da União (TCU) que criava regras de transparência para as vendas de ativos da petroleira.

As normas de transparência foram necessárias depois que diversas liminares impetradas por petroleiros na Justiça conseguiram suspender vendas de ativos da Petrobras, questionando a ausência de licitações pela estatal na alienação de importantes ativos.

Em uma eventual decisão favorável, a companhia terá mais liberdade para se desfazer de participações em contratos de campos de petróleo, incluídas em um bilionário plano de desinvestimentos que poderá atingir até 35 bilhões de dólares entre 2019 e 2023, disse na véspera o CEO da Petrobras, Roberto Castello Branco.

Nos atuais planos, a petroleira busca a venda de campos já maduros, com baixa rentabilidade, para que possa se concentrar em ativos considerados essenciais para a empresa, em águas profundas e ultraprofundas. Além disso, a companhia também tem planos para se expandir no pré-sal.

À Reuters, o sócio da área de Óleo e Gás do Veirano Advogados Ali Hage disse que também acredita em uma vitória para a Petrobras no julgamento nesta quarta-feira.

Segundo o advogado, o atual sistema de desinvestimentos da Petrobras atende aos princípios nas regras de licitação, com transparência, isonomia e eficiência, e a decisão do STF na semana passada sinaliza um entendimento nessa direção.

“Uma das coisas, na minha opinião, que foram validadas nas discussões da semana passada foi o reconhecimento de que o processo de desinvestimento da Petrobras, ele atende os princípios da administração pública”, disse Hage.

“Ainda que não sejam exatamente idênticos aos procedimentos previstos nas regras de licitação... ele é um sistema que atende a esses princípios, que atinge os mesmos objetivos, com transparência, isonomia, eficiência.”

SAÍDA PARCIAL

O STF também deverá se pronunciar sobre se a estatal como operadora de um consórcio com uma ou mais empresas terá ou não de promover licitações para contratação de bens e serviços, conforme prevê o decreto.

Com base na norma, a estatal defende que não precisa que tenha de passar por um procedimento licitatório nesses casos, desde que cumpra os princípios da administração pública previstos na Constituição. A justificativa é que a empresa está atuando na sua atividade fim, ou seja, explorando petróleo.

Segundo a fonte, esse ponto do processo é importante. E uma hipótese desfavorável, consorciados da Petrobras poderiam pedir a exclusão dela como operadora.

“Se a gente não puder funcionar como operadora, se tiver essa amarra, a gente deixa de estar à frente das grandes explorações do país e, com o tempo, a Petrobras vai perdendo em ganho de conhecimento, em expertise e posição diferenciada que ela tem hoje”, avaliou a fonte.

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