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Brazil’s Petrobras Looks To Buy Oil Assets After A Decade Of Divestments

Brazil’s state-owned oil and gas firm Petrobras is on the lookout for potential asset acquisitions after spending years selling off stakes in upstream and downstream businesses, chief financial officer Sergio Caetano Leite told Bloomberg in an interview published on Tuesday.

Thanks to lowered debt and stronger cash flow generation and financing, Petrobras could be ready for an acquisition, the executive said.  

“Petrobras had a divestment program,” Leite told Bloomberg.

“The company has now changed sides of the table.”

Petrobras reported in May that its gross debt was $53.3 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2023, the lowest level since 2010.

Any additional investments in asset acquisitions will not put Petrobras into more debt, Leite told Bloomberg. 

The company booked solid results for the first quarter, with recurring earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) at $14.3 billion, the fourth highest in Petrobras' history.

Production from the pre-salt area offshore Brazil hit a new monthly record of 2.13 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) in February 2023 and a quarterly record of 2.05 million boed. In the first quarter of 2023, the pre-salt fields accounted for 77% of Petrobras’s total production, compared to 75% in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The company plans to start up more than a dozen production platforms in the pre-salt area by 2027, CEO Jean Paul Prates said in May.

“We are also evaluating the creation of taskforces with other companies to seek business opportunities in Brazil and abroad,” the chief executive said.

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Earlier this year, Prates said that even as Petrobras boosts investment in clean energy over time, oil production would remain the top priority for the Brazilian state oil giant.

Recent reports have suggested that Petrobras is considering growing its oil reserves and production with projects abroad after a major drilling project at home was denied due to environmental concerns.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • George Doolittle on July 05 2023 said:
    More good news for $ge General Electric
    Long $xom Exxon strong buy

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