Petrobras CFO Almir Barbassa. Image courtesy of Petrobras.

Brazil’s Petrobras delayed the release of its third quarter results for the second time Friday as a corruption probe into the company continues to widen.

The state owned company said it is “unable to release its third quarter 2014 financial statements at this time” due to ongoing investigations into alleged corruption.

Brazilian police have been investigating alleged money laundering and kickbacks tied to deals made by Petrobras.

The company also hired two independent law firms to look into the allegations.

Third quarter results are now expected to be released on December 12.

The company said it will also release the results of the independent audits as soon as possible.

Petrobras initially delayed the release of its third quarter financials on November 3 after PricewaterhouseCoopers reportedly declined to approve results for any accounts tied to transport chief and politician Sergio Machado.

Brazil’s market regulator CVM could level fines against Petrobras for the extended delay, Reuters said.

The delay could also have a hefty financial impact on the company.

Analysts are warning that the company could lose its investment grade rating.

Petrobras, the world’s most indebted oil company, could be barred from accessing U.S. bond markets, a note from Credit Suisse Securities said.

Last week, Brazilian police arrested 18 people suspected of money laundering and bribery in connection with Petrobras deals.

Former downstream head Paulo Roberto Costa has alleged that funds from state owned Petrobras were used for illegal political campaign financing, including campaigns run by Machado.

Machado, a member of Brazil’s Democratic Movement Party, has denied Costa’s allegations.

Costa is currently awaiting trial for allegedly participating in a $3.96 billion money laundering scheme.

In September, Costa admitted taking a $636,000 bribe in connection with the state-owned company’s 2006 purchase of a Texas refinery.

Earlier this week the Financial Times reported that the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC had opened criminal and civil investigations into the company.

Neither agency has confirmed or denied the report.

Brazil’s national accounting agency said Tuesday that state owned Petrobras may have overpaid by as much as $1.2 billion in transactions that are being investigated for possible kickbacks.


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