OTC: Petrobras eyes more refining capacity

Petrobras could decide as early as its board meeting Friday if it will buy Valero Energy’s refinery in Aruba, officials with Brazil’s national oil company said today.
The company’s directors will discuss whether to move forward with plans to buy the 275,000 barrel per day refinery, company leaders said.
But “we are not committed to make a decision,” said Petrobras CEO Jose Sergio Gabrielli De Azevedo during a press conference at the Offshore Technology Conference.
In November, Valero said it was exploring strategic alternatives for its Aruba plant, which is projected to be worth upwards of $4 billion.
Petrobras’ De Azevedo on Tuesday reiterated the company’s goal to increase its global refining capacity from 1.9 million barrels per day to 3 million barrels per day by 2015. That’s roughly the equivalent of three new refineries.
He said Petrobras is also in negotations to increase its stake in a refinery in Pasadena.
Now a 50 percent owner with Astra Oil, Petrobras is said to be considering full ownership of the 100,000 barrel per day plant, as well as an expansion that would double its size.
But company officials would not elaborate on negotiations.
Nor would would they comment on recent word by Haroldo Lima, head of Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency, that the company’s deepwater Carioca field could hold up to 33 billion barrels of oil. If confirmed, the field would be one of the largest in the world.

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