Petrobras Advances International Growth Plans

Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) has in the last two weeks advanced plans to expand its international operations, unveiling new corporate projects for Portugal, Turkey and the US, according to company statements.

The announcements are in line with company strategy to increase oil output outside Brazil to 568,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day (boe/d) by the end 2011 from some 250,000boe/d currently. The company has also announced plans to invest US$12bn in international operations in 2007-11.

Petrobras has signed an agreement to carry out deepwater studies in Portuguese waters with Portuguese oil companies Galp and Partex.

Petrobras plans to invest 5mn reais (US$2.3mn) in the partnership that will require geophysical data to be processed in Petrobras' data-processing centers in Brazil.

In Turkey, the company formed a 50:50 joint venture with Turkey's state-controlled oil company TPAO to explore two deepwater areas in the Black sea. The companies will explored the 3920 Kirklarelli and the 3922 Sinop blocks at depths of 1,200 meters and 2,200 meters respectively.


In the US, Petrobras continues to increase its acreage in the Gulf of Mexico.

The company on August 16 announced an agreement to increase its stakes to 50% from 25% in the Cascade field and to 72% in the Chinook field. Petrobras is now operator in both fields. Other partners are US oil company Devon Energy (NYSE: DVN) and French oil company Total.

The following day the company was the largest investor in the US government's "lease sale 2000," offering US$45.5mn for the rights to explore 34 blocks in the Gulf of Mexico.

Also in the US, Petrobras is interested in investing in refining and already has plans to increase capacity of the 100,000 barrel-a-day Pasadena refinery, in which it holds a 50% stake.

Petrobras could invest as much as US$900mn to double output there, Brazilian news service Agencia Estado reported.

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