Petrobras Will Double in Size in Seven Years

Published May 8, 2013
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Maria das Graças Foster
Petrobras president and CEO Maria das Graças Foster

Petrobras will double in size by 2020. The statement was made by the company's president and CEO, Maria das Graças Silva Foster, during the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), in Houston (USA). The CEO presented the lecture "The Future of Energy in Brazil: the role of Petrobras", during the panel called "Global Energy Outlook - Shaping the Future!", with more than 250 attendees.

The CEO highlighted that production in Brazil, which was 2.2 million barrels of oil equivalent (oil and natural gas) per day in 2012, will reach 5.7 million in 2020. And the pre-salt will be largely responsible for this increase. "We (Petrobras) have made 53 discoveries in Brazil during the last 14 months. In the pre-salt alone there were 15 discoveries", she emphasized. "Petrobras' reserves have the potential to double in size and reach 31.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent in the coming years," she added. For her, there is no doubt that the results are due to the Company's investments, which have increased at a rate of 21.5% per year since 2000 and reached US$ 42.9 billion in 2012.

Investments in Research and Development during the period were also significant and important in achieving the goals: over the last twelve years, investments in this area have grown 18.3% per year, and in 2012 they reached US$ 1.1 billion. Petrobras' investment plan for the 2013-2017 period amount to US$ 236.7 billion.

Graça Foster also highlighted the Brazilian market's growing demand, which has been well above the world average. Between 2000 and 2012, the demand for gasoline in Brazil increased by 73%, compared to 17% globally. In the same period, the demand for diesel in Brazil rose 52%, compared to 31% globally. "And when comparing aviation kerosene it is even more impressive: while demand in Brazil increased 58%, it decreased 3% globally", the CEO said.

The CEO also noted that the Company's investments, together with the local content valuation policy, encouraged foreign shipyards to go to Brazil and become technological partners of the shipyards that are being implemented in the country. Some of them include partners from Japan, China and Korea.

Also taking part in the panel was Angolan Oil Minister, José de Vasconcelos, Canadian Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, David Ramsey, and Pemex's Director of Exploration and Production, Carlos Morales-Gil. The panel was mediated by Gamal Hassan, the person responsible for OTC's schedule.

Petrobras controls significant oil and energy assets in 18 countries in Africa, North America, South America, Europe and Asia. These holdings as well as properties in Brazil give it total assets of $133.5 billion (2008).

Petrobras is Latin America's largest company, thanks to 2008 sales of $118.3 billion, according to a ranking from Latin Business Chronicle over Latin America's Top 500 Companies.

The Brazilian government directly owns 54% of Petrobras' common shares with voting rights, while the Brazilian Development Bank and Brazil's Sovereign Wealth Fund (Fundo Soberano) each control 5%, bringing the State's direct and indirect ownership to 64%.[16] The privately held shares are traded on BM&F Bovespa, where they are part of the Ibovespa index.

Petrobras began processing oil shale in 1953, developing Petrosix technology for extracting oil from oil shale. An industrial size retort began processing shale in the 1990s. In 2006, Petrobras claimed that this industrial retort had a design capacity to process 260 tonnes/hour of oil shale.

Petrobras operated the world's largest oil platform — the Petrobras 36 Oil Platform - until an explosion on 15 March 2001 led to its sinking on 20 March 2001. P-36 was replaced by FPSO-Brasil. In 2007, Petrobras inaugurated the Petrobras 52 Oil Platform. The 52 is the biggest Brazilian oil platform and third in the world.

Petrobras is also recognized as the largest sponsor of arts, culture, and environmental protection in Brazil. Among the environmental initiatives, Petrobras is the main supporter of whale conservation and research through the Brazilian Right Whale Project and the Instituto Baleia Jubarte (Brazilian Humpback Whale Institute). Petrobras has been a sponsor of the Williams Formula-1 team. The company employs the H-Bio process to produce biodiesel.

According to Forbes, as of April 2011, Petrobras is the 8th largest company in the world.

Peter Howard Wertheim
Peter Howard Wertheim is an international journalist based in Rio de Janeiro. He can be reached at:

Tags: Petrobras


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