Petrobras likely to increase crude export

Singapore: Brazilian national oil exploration firm Petrobras is in negotiations to increase crude oil exports to Indian refineries, a top company official said here today. "We are in negotiations on increasing crude oil exports to India," said Petrobras Singapore Pte Ltd Managing Director Sillas Oliva Filho.

However, Brazil`s purchases of diesel and gas oil from Indian refineries are likely to see a decline in the coming years as the South American nation`s own refining capacity is ramped up, he said at a press conference led by Petrobras Chief Executive Officer Jose Sergio Gabrielli de Azevedo.

Elaborating, Gabrielli said Brazil aims to export 1.6 million barrels of crude per day, mostly to the United States and China. He also said increasing export quantities to India would depend on negotiations. Petrobras currently exports between two and four million barrels of crude per month to India and imports between 600,000 and 1.2 million tonnes per month of diesel and gas oil for its domestic consumption due to a shortage of domestic refining capacity.

However, the scenario will change when Brazil boosts its refining capacity to 3.1 million barrels per day.
In the longer term, Brazil aims to produce 6 million barrels per day of crude oil and natural gas, 4.9 million barrels of which would be crude oil.

This would give Brazil, estimated to be endowed with 35 billion barrels of hydrocarbon resources, the capacity to export 1.6 million barrels per day in the next 10 years. Gabrielli also pointed out that Petrobras was committed to investment in its domestic market to develop hydrocarbon resources, refining capacities and related byproducts, besides processing industries like fertilisers and petrochemicals.

"Ninety-five per cent of our investments will be for domestic resources development," Gabrielli told reporters, adding that only 5 per cent would be for investment in global markets, mostly for securing natural gas resources to supplement its domestic natural gas resources.

Petrobras is mostly engaged in the upstream exploration sector, said Gabrielli, adding that it was already active in Australia and New Zealand.

In a move to raise cash for the massive investment required in the development of Brazilian resources, Petrobras will divest its refineries and exploration assets worth USD 14 billion in the coming two-and-a-half years, he said. These assets would be open to negotiations for participation by Asian companies from countries including India and China.

Gabrielli underlined the importance of cooperation with Indian companies, with Petrobras already doing business with major refiners such as Reliance and Essar and India`s flagship exploration firm Oil and Natural Gas Corp of India.