Latin America & Caribbean Refining News
Petrobras Rolls Out Latest In String of Refinery Plans
June 17, 2008
Petrobras has confirmed plans to
construct a premium-quality refinery with the capacity to process
600,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude in the northeastern Brazilian
state of Maranhao, with operations expected to start in 2013.
An agreement should be signed within 60 days with the state
government, opening the way for the project and setting out each
party's areas of responsibility, Petrobras said in a statement
If it gets beyond the planning stage, the refinery would be the
24th operated by Petrobras, which wants to expand its capacity to
produce gasoline and petroleum derivatives for the domestic market
and increase exports of fuel products.
Last week, Petrobras announced a similar agreement with the
government of the northeastern state of Ceara for construction of a
refinery with the capacity to process 300,000 bpd of crude.
The oil company also unveiled plans to build a refinery in Rio
Grande do Norte, another state in northeastern Brazil, that will
produce gasoline, diesel and liquefied natural gas (LNG) starting in
Petrobras is expanding its portfolio of projects in an effort to
increase the amount of Brazilian crude it refines, reduce dependence
on imported diesel and grab a bigger share of the global energy
The company's most advanced project is the Abreu e Lima refinery,
which Venezuelan oil giant PDVSA wants to join as a partner, being
built near Recife, the capital of Pernambuco state.
Petrobras is also constructing the Rio de Janeiro Petrochemical
Complex, or Comperj, at a cost of some $8 billion.
The new refineries are expected to add nearly 1 million bpd to
Petrobras's installed refining capacity, which is currently 1.8
Last month, Petrobras said it found a "new oil accumulation" in
ultra-deep waters in the Santos basin, where the Brazilian oil giant
announced it discovered large potential reserves last year.
In late 2007, Petrobras announced that it had found what could be
the world's largest oil field, called Tupi, in the Santos basin.
Tupi could contain between 5 billion and 8 billion barrels of
crude oil, or enough to increase Brazil's current total proven
petroleum reserves by up to 50 percent.
The company has been moving aggressively to explore for oil and
increase production from offshore areas.
Petrobras, an integrated energy company and the global leader in
deepwater oil exploration and production, operates in 27 countries
in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe.
Shares of Petrobras, Brazil's largest corporation, trade on the
Sao Paulo, New York, Madrid and Buenos Aires stock exchanges, but
the Brazilian government retains control through a golden share. EFE
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