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Brazil's Petrobras to lease LNG operations in Bahia state

SAO PAULO, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Brazilian state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA said on Monday it will begin leasing its liquefied natural gas regasification terminal and an associated gas pipeline in the northeastern state of Bahia.

The move is in line with an agreement made with the country's antitrust regulator Cade in July to open up the Brazilian natural gas market to more competition.

Petrobras said it has initiated pre-bid procedures for parties interested in taking part in the auctions, which will be comply with state law.

"The lease is in line with Petrobras' strategy of improving its capital allocation and building a favorable environment for new investors to enter the natural gas sector," it said in the statement. (Reporting by Luciano Costa Writing by Jamie McGeever Editing by Jonathan Oatis)