Petrobras Vies for LatAm Leadership Position by 2015

Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) wants to become the leading energy firm in Latin America by 2015, CEO Jose Gabrielli told weekly news magazine Carta Capital.

The company wants to increase production at home and abroad from 2Mboe/d to more than 4.5Mboe/d by 2015.

"In 2015, [Petrobras] will be the leading energy company in Latin America," he said. "We are competing against [Venezuela's state oil company] PDVSA and [Mexico's state oil company] Pemex."

Petrobras' corporate governance is solid, the CEO said.

"No government does whatever it wants with Petrobras," he said. "The company is separate from the government. It has its own budget. The board members, apart from the chairman, are chosen at a shareholders' assembly and subject to rules of securities regulator CVM."

Gabrielli reaffirmed the company's strategy to continue expanding domestic oil and gas production, expand the gas pipeline network to some 10,000km from 6,000km and grow the company's fleet renewal program to 42 new ships by 2011, he told Carta Capital.

He also played down the impact of recent changes in Bolivia and a new agreement reached on imported gas prices.

"Bolivia is seen by the market as a very small thing for Petrobras," he said. "Bolivia is important to Brazil because 50% of the gas [Brazilians] consume comes from there."

According to Petrobras' 2006-10 strategic investment plan, the company will invest US$87bn through end-2011. In 2007 alone, Petrobras plans to invest some 55bn reais (US$26bn).

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