Petrobras to double in size in seven years

CEO highlights 'pre-salt' layer and growing demand for aviation kerosene, gasoline and diesel.

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Updated on 08 May 2013 06:59 GMT

Brazilian energy company Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) S.A. predicts that it will double in size by 2020. The statement was made yesterday, May 7, by the company's chief executive officer (CEO), Maria das Graças Silva Foster, during the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), in Houston, United States.

Silva Foster presented the lecture "The Future of Energy in Brazil: the role of Petrobras", during a panel session entitled "Global Energy Outlook - Shaping the Future", in front of more than 250 attendees.

The CEO said 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. The 'pre-salt' layer - vast oil reserves trapped under thick layers of salt on the continental shelf off the coast of Brazil - was predicted to be largely responsible for the increase.

"We (Petrobras) have made 53 discoveries in Brazil during the last 14 months. In the pre-salt alone there were 15 discoveries", Silva Foster remarked. "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 Silva Foster, 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 significant: 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 amounts to US$ 236.7 billion.

Silva Foster also highlighted the Brazilian market's growing demand, which has been well above the world average. Between 2000 and 2012, demand for gasoline in Brazil increased by 73%, compared to 17% globally. In the same period, 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", she 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 event schedule.