Home Petrobras loses importance in Brazil with the emergence of multinationals

Petrobras loses importance in Brazil with the emergence of multinationals

16 April 2018 11 gies: 58
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Experts say Petrobras has been drastically scaling back its operations in Brazil as foreigners acquire exploratory blocks

A Petrobras produced about 75% in February 2018 and more than 92% in 2010, right at the end of the government of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. This reduction began to happen when the pre-salt activities were starting, already in the governance of Dilma Rousseff. When Michel Temer took over the presidency of Brazil in 2016, there was a slight acceleration due to the opening of the market to foreign companies, which caused a reduction of 7 points in Petrobras' participation in the market.

According to experts, Petrobras tends to reduce its operations as other oil multinationals occupy the market, among the main ones, Statoil, Total, Exxon Mobil and Shell, who are already on a veritable marathon to secure as many stakes in the pre-salt as possible, which is actually one of the most promising oil assets on the planet ever found, very extensive and that only one company is not capable of exploring.

From September 2017 to date, Brazil promoted three auctions of exploratory blocks with one more scheduled in 2 monthss. Petrobras sees this as a double-edged sword: It loses its monopoly on operational productivity in the national territory, however, it manages to add new technologies and gain financial strength by partnering with multinationals.

Nelson Silva, director of Strategy at Petrobras, said that the situation is unfortunately a necessary evil, but it is extremely important that other oil companies operate in the country at this time. As many of the state-owned projects were frozen due to the Car Wash issue, there were a lot of losses, in the order of billions in commercial dollars with the low prices of a barrel of oil.

With each passing day, foreign companies are expanding their business in Brazil, as illustrated by Exxon, which injected more than US$ billion in partnerships to acquire 22 offshore operating permits in recent months. Samuel Pessoa, economist at FGV, says that the insertion of foreign oil companies in our market is essential for Brazil to return to producing at least 4 million barrels daily and guarantee a certain “stability”.

Many say that Petrobras is treading an inevitable path to privatization by handing over its portfolio of services to foreign companies, others claim that the state-owned company does not have the cash and technology to explore all of the country's oil blocks. One thing is for sure, Brazil has one of the most relevant hydrocarbon potentials in the country and exploring it is necessary to guarantee taxes and robustness in the economy.

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