Brazilian state-owned energy giant Petrobras says it will close 38 offices abroad in order to concentrate focus on pre-salt activities forecast to double production by 2020.
The company on Monday confirmed to AFP comments made to that effect by Petrobras CEO Graca Foster to energy digest Brazil Oil and Gas.
A press spokeswoman told AFP: "We do not yet have details of the countries where the branches will be closed.
"But 38 bureaux and enterprises does not mean 38 countries are affected -- there are countries with several," the spokeswoman said.
The move came with Moody's having last week downgraded its Petrobras rating from A3 to Baa1 and on negative watch amid fears the behemoth is carrying onerous levels of debt.
Noting an ambitious capital program and high leverage, Moody's also downgraded Brazilian government from positive to stable on growth fears.
In the second quarter of this year, Petrobras had net income of $2.7 billion -- but it also had a net debt of $36 billion.
Petrobras' 2013-2017 plans include asset divestment of $9.9 billion alongside an investment program of $236.7 billion -- 60 percent of that earmarked for oil and gas exploration and production.
Next week sees Brazil's first pre-salt auction in six years for deepwater deposits at the huge Libra field in the southeastern Santos basin where recoverable reserves of some 12 billion barrels could see production of an estimated 1m barrels per day (bpd) in five years.
Brazil announced the country's biggest oil find in 20 years in 2007 amid hopes it could see the country double production to some 5 million bpd by 2020.