Petrobras Looking to Increase Production Outside Brazil

Petrobras is in the market to spend approximately $3 billion on an oil company in the Gulf of Mexico, according to Petrobras financial director Joao Nogueira Batista. He added that Petrobras, which is receiving proposals from banks, was looking for a medium-sized oil company with a daily production of 100,000 boed. If low oil prices and lower prices of shares in oil companies continue, a purchase could happen during the first half of 2002.

The purchase would help Petrobras boost oil production outside Brazil from a current 64,000 boed to 300,000 boed by 2005. The company is targeting the Gulf of Mexico because it has so far invested comparatively little in this highly promising area, said Joao Figueira, executive manager of international E&P for Petrobras Internacional (Braspetro).

Currently, Braspetro is producing only 10,500 b/d of oil equivalent in the Gulf of Mexico, as opposed to 22,000 b/d in Colombia, 17,000 b/d in West Africa (mainly Angola), 10,000 b/d in Argentina, and 8,800 b/d in Bolivia. Figueira said Petrobras would also buy E&P concessions in the region to reach its production target.