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CERAWeek: Petrobras aims to become natural gas powerhouse -CEO



By Daniel Rodriguez / Platts

Petroleumworld 03 13 2019

Petrobras is looking to become a natural gas powerhouse, a market that is relatively undeveloped in Brazil, the company's CEO Roberto Castello Branco said Tuesday at CeraWeek by IHS Markit.

The state-owned company is working with the government to make conditions to create an open and competitive natural gas market in Brazil, he added.

"Natural gas can put Brazil into the path of prosperity while protecting its environment," Branco said.

There is an exciting opportunity to transition Brazil's transportation cargo fleet from diesel to compressed natural gas, he added.

Branco said that Petrobras has an opportunity to become a relevant LNG player, something it will pursue.

"I do not doubt that LNG will become a global commodity like oil," he added.

Transporting gas onshore has become a major challenge for upstream operators in Brazil's deepwater regions.

This is a challenge that will require cooperation among the oil and gas industry in Brazil, Equinor and BP executives said earlier Tuesday at the conference.


Branco said Petrobras would focus on value creation under his leadership.

Capital implementation on the most productive investments will be crucial, he added.

"We will focus on assets where Petrobras can extract the maximum [profits] as natural owners," Branco said, adding the company will focus on Brazi's pre-salt assets.

Petrobras will recede from mature fields, conventional onshore and offshore as well as midstream and downstream segments.

"We believe there are others that can do this better than us," he added.


Branco will also seek to bring discipline to Petrobras by turning it into a low-cost producer with low debt levels.

With this discipline, the company will be able to have large returns with high oil prices and ensure its survival when those prices decrease, Branco said.

The company plans to sell over $26.9 billion in assets over 2019-2023 to improve its balance sheet, which had over $70 billion in debt last year.

Petrobras has a goal to increase its production to 2.8 million boe/d this year, 170,000 boe/d more than in 2018, Bronco said. Bronco became CEO in December under the new presidency of Jair Bolsonaro.

The company has a plan to increase production at a rate of 5% per year over the next five years, he added.

This production will come from new floating production storage and offloading units in Brazil's pre-salt fields, which already supplies 45% of Petrobras' total output.


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Story by Daniel Rodriguez from Platts / SPGlobal.

- newsdesk@spglobal.com

03 13

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