Oil workers of the government-run Petrobras celebrate on the P-50 rig after it started producing off Brazil’s south Atlantic coast. (Photo: Patricia Santos, Associated Press)
Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, will finish 2011 at the lower range of its production target after a “global bottleneck” delayed rig deliveries, said its chief executive officer.
Petrobras will be within 2.5 percent of its 2.1 million barrel-a-day target for domestic crude production, CEO Jose Sergio Gabrielli said today in an interview at the Global Economic Symposium in Kiel, Germany. Rio de Janeiro-based Petrobras received seven of the 13 drilling rigs it expected this year from international suppliers, he said.
“The ramp up takes time and it very much depends on the drilling capacity we have, and drilling capacity requires drilling rigs,” Gabrielli said. “It’s a global bottleneck.”
Petrobras plans to more than double Brazilian oil production over the next decade as it develops the largest discoveries in the western hemisphere since Mexico discovered the Cantarell field in 1976. Gabrielli said Petrobras is prioritizing Brazilian-built rigs and platforms to decrease dependence on foreign suppliers.
More stringent safety measures by Brazil’s oil regulator also hurt production growth, Gabrielli said.
Petrobras gained 3.8 percent to 18.90 reais at 3:17 p.m. New York time in Sao Paulo trading. The stock has dropped 31 percent this year, more than the 24 percent fall in Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa index.
‘Move to Brazil’
Oil companies from Europe and China are seeking to enter or expand operations in Brazil, and recent announcements that Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. are selling assets in the Latin American country doesn’t indicate an exodus of foreign producers, Gabrielli said.
“I don’t think there is a pattern of companies trying to move out of Brazil,” he said. “To the contrary, there are a lot of companies that want to move to Brazil now.”
The U.K.’s BG Group Plc and France’s Total SA want to expand operations in Brazil and Chinese companies want to enter the market, Gabrielli said. Gabrielli didn’t specify which Chinese companies are eyeing Brazil.
OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA, the oil company controlled by billionaire Eike Batista, is considering the purchase of Brazilian blocks from Anadarko because it is unknown when Brazil will sell new exploration areas, Chief Executive Officer Paulo Mendonca said today.
Anadarko, the largest U.S. independent oil and natural-gas company by market value, wants to sell all its blocks in Brazil, a director at the nation’s crude regulator said Oct. 4. Brazilian oil deals are accelerating as the government postpones selling new areas.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Chevron Corp. sold stakes in Brazilian fields in the past month and Exxon, the world’s biggest oil company, wants to divest a 25 percent stake in an offshore Brazilian prospect after drilling two wells that failed to find crude.
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