Petrobras to Invest US$10.2bn in Sao Paulo from 2007-11

Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) plans to invest US$10.2bn in Sao Paulo state from January 2007-December 2011, company CEO Jose Gabrielli told industry leaders in Sao Paulo.

The US$10.2bn is part of the company's revised strategic investment plan.

"This is just direct investment and does not include orders to Sao Paulo-based companies from investment outside the state," Gabrielli said during a presentation of Petrobras' 2007-11 strategic investment plan at the federation of Sao Paulo industries.

The company's overall strategic investment program is pegged at US$87.1bn, of which US$75bn will be invested in Brazil. Investments in Sao Paulo will represent 14% of domestic spending.

Although Sao Paulo is Brazil's most industrialized state and accounts for roughly one-third of the country's 1.3tn-real (US$590bn) GDP, Rio de Janeiro state attracts the most oil money.


Petrobras' two largest investments in Sao Paulo are for refining and E&P, attracting US$4.5bn and US$3.3bn respectively, Gabrielli said.

In refining, the company will invest to expand capacity - including that of heavy crude - and improve product quality.

"We want to raise Brazilian heavy crude to 90% of our refining capacity from current levels of 80%," he said.

The investments will go to four refineries, which account for 42% of Petrobras' total refining capacity of 2 million barrels a day: Replan, Revap, RPBC and Recap.

In E&P, Petrobras will invest to develop fields in the Santos basin. The company has earmarked some US$10bn for the basin through 2015.

Petrobras is developing the Mexilhao field, which is projected to produce some 15 million cubic meters a day (Mm3/d) of gas after 2011, and BS-500, where the company recently discovered oil and gas.

"We cannot speed up these projects because of constraints on equipment," Gabrielli said. "The platform for Mexilhao, for example, needs to be shipped [in specialized ships] from Rio de Janeiro and I won't have a ship available to do this until 2008."


The third largest investment item is US$1.5bn for the ethanol and oil transport pipelines.

Petrobras is already investing in the oil pipeline linking the Campos basins to the Sao Paulo refineries. In addition, the company is performing studies to build a pipeline to carry ethanol from producing regions in inland Goias state to downstream terminals in Paulinia and ports in Santos to export ethanol.

Petrobras also will invest US$429mn to expand the state's gas pipeline network and another US$191mn to convert thermo plants to run on more than one fuel.

Another US$256mn will go on downstream operations as part the company plan to increase fuel retail subsidiary BR Distribuido's domestic market share beyond 34%.

"We could do this through growth or through acquisitions," said Gabrielli, without giving details. "There are a couple of hundred small fuel distributors in Brazil which could help BR increase its market presence."

Finally, the company plans to invest US$88mn in a polypropylene production unit in Sao Paulo.

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