Petrobras to Invest $22.3B to Up Production

Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) plans to invest 47.5 billion reals (US$22.3 billion) in 2007 to boost oil and gas production to 2.5 billion boe/d, the company said in a statement.

Petrobras' board and top management has approved the investment program. Petrobras produced 2.3 billion boe/d in the first 11 months of 2006.

Petrobras plans to invest 23.5 billion reals in E&P, 9.9 billion reals in supplies, which includes refurbishment and expansion of its refining park, 7.1 billion reals in gas and power, 4.6 billion reals in international operations and 953 million reals in distribution, the company said. Another 1.5 billion reals will go to improve its overall business performance.

The 2007 investment program is 23% higher than the 38.5 billion reals earmarked for 2006. The company invested 22.6 billion reals in the first nine of months of 2006 and 25.7 billion reals in all 2005. BNamericas reported late last month the board was analyzing plans to invest 40 billion-50 billion reals in 2007.

Petrobras in mid-2006 decided to increase its 2007-11 strategic investment program to US$87 billion, or an average of US$17.4 billion a year, from the annual average of US$10.6 billion set in the 2006-10 program.

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