Brazil’s oil major Petrobras to boost production, export

June 12th, 2008 - 4:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Rio de Janeiro, June 12 (IANS) Brazil’s state-owned energy giant Petrobras will build a new refinery to boost production of gasoline and derivatives for both domestic and export markets as part of a major expansion plan. Petrobras said in a statement that its 22nd refinery would be on stream in 2010 in Rio Grande do Norte state in the northeast and will produce gasoline, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas, EFE news agency reported Thursday.

It did not disclose the refining capacity of the new unit, which is part of a major expansion plan to augment its share in global oil export market.

Company chief Jose Sergio Gabrielli announced last month that Petrobras has the fourth largest crude reserves worldwide. The state energy giant’s 11.7 billion barrels of reserves include several recent huge discoveries in Brazil’s offshore Santos Basin.

Separately, Petrobras said after a meeting with representatives of Ceara state, also in the northeast, that the company has decided to “study the possibility” of installing another refinery there with a capacity to process 300,000 barrels per day. It could be operational in 2014.

Petrobras and the Ceara state government will sign “the initial premises” of this project within 120 days, the company said.

The project in the most advanced stage is the “Abreu e Lima” refinery near the northeastern city of Recife, an initiative being carried out in partnership with Venezuelan state oil giant PdVSA.

Petrobras also is building the Comperj petrochemical complex in southeastern Brazil at a cost of roughly $8 billion and has announced the construction of a new refinery in the northeastern state of Maranhao that will have a refining capacity of 600,000 barrels per day (bpd).

The new refineries are expected to boost the company’s refining capacity by at least one million bpd by 2014.

Brazil became a net oil exporter for the first time last year but is also one of the world’s largest oil consumers.

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