• 2 days PDVSA Booted From Caribbean Terminal Over Unpaid Bills
  • 2 days Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea
  • 2 days Syrian Rebels Relinquish Control Of Major Gas Field
  • 2 days Schlumberger Warns Of Moderating Investment In North America
  • 2 days Oil Prices Set For Weekly Loss As Profit Taking Trumps Mideast Tensions
  • 2 days Energy Regulators Look To Guard Grid From Cyberattacks
  • 2 days Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 2 days New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 2 days Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 2 days Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 2 days Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 3 days British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 3 days Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 3 days Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 3 days Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 3 days OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 3 days London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 3 days Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 3 days Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 3 days India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 4 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 4 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 4 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 4 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 4 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 5 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 5 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 5 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 5 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 5 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 5 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 5 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 5 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 5 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 6 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 6 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 6 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 6 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 6 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 6 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
Kuwaiti Minister: OPEC Deal Extension May Be Unnecessary

Kuwaiti Minister: OPEC Deal Extension May Be Unnecessary

Kuwaiti Oil Minister Al-Marzouk has…

How To Play The Next Wireless Revolution

How To Play The Next Wireless Revolution

The global communications boom has…

The Plot Thickens In Petrobras Corruption Scandal

The Plot Thickens In Petrobras Corruption Scandal

The rags-to-riches life story of Maria das Gracas Silva Foster has taken a sharp turn with her resignation as CEO of Petroleo Brasiliero SA (Petrobras), along with five other senior executives, in a long-simmering corruption scandal involving kickbacks and bribery that has cost the company billions of dollars.

In a securities filing on Feb. 4, Brazil’s semi-public international energy company based in Rio de Janeiro said the resignation of Foster would be effective immediately and that the company’s board of directors would meet Feb. 6 to find replacements.

There was no mention of whether the other five executives also would leave immediately or stay until a new CEO is named, and no word who might replace Foster.

Related: Corruption Scandal Threatens Brazilian Oil Developments

Foster, from a poor family in a “favela,” or slum, of Rio, recycled metal cans to pay for her education and has spent her entire professional career with Petrobras. In the late 1970s, while still in college, she became an intern at the oil company and rose quickly through the ranks from 2003-2010, when Dilma Rousseff was chairwoman of Petrobras’ board of directors.

Foster and Rousseff became friends, and in 2011 Rousseff became president of Brazil. The next year, Foster was named the first female chief executive Petrobras.

Within a year, however, suspicions arose of corruption at Petrobras, the largest publicly traded oil company in Latin America, doing severe damage to its financial standing. In response, Foster says, she repeatedly told Rousseff that she was prepared to resign, but Rousseff urged her to stay on.

Meanwhile, the company’s shares plunged to their lowest level in 10 years because of the suspicions of corruption and helped by the worldwide drop in oil prices, but immediately began rebounding on Feb. 3 on word that Foster’s resignation was imminent.

Ever since the first suspicions arose, Rousseff was under great pressure to rid Petrobras of even the hint of corruption, especially after three former senior executives of the company and dozens of others who did business with Petrobras were arrested and testified about the corrupt activity.

Brazilian investigators say the suspected corruption involves bribery, price-fixing and kickbacks to politicians and political parties, including Rousseffs Workers’ Party. So far, police say, the scheme siphoned at least $3.7 billion and maybe more than $28 billion from Petrobras’ treasury.

Related: Oil Majors’ Profits Take A Beating

Petrobras itself reported last week that the financial wrongdoing contributed to a loss of $22.7 billion from the value of assets including offshore oil rigs and refineries.

Brazilian federal prosecutors say 86 people so far are suspected of criminal wrongdoing. Even the United States has gotten involved in the probe, with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department investigating because Petrobras shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Reuters, citing two anonymous sources, reports that Rousseff has asked her finance minister, Joaquim Levy, to help the company develop new accounting practices to help sort out its finances. Levy, who joined Rousseff’s cabinet only last month, is also searching for candidates to make up a new board of directors for Petrobras, according to one of the Reuters sources.

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News