RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – As Petrobras controlled by the Brazilian state PETR4.SA rapidly increasing oil production and exports, executives are looking for a new market: India.
In an interview as part of the Reuters Commodities Trade Summit, Chief Executive Roberto Castello Branco said crude oil sales to China – an increasingly important export market for Brazilian oil – will continue to pick up amid strong industrial growth there and an increase in some off-field countries. the largest beach in the world in Brazil.
But Petrobras’ newly reorganized marketing and logistics division is actively seeking additional markets, especially in Asia.
The company, for example, has begun chasing new buyers in India, which Petroleo Brasileiro SA hopes to formally call the company, hopes to become a relevant client within three years as it moves to diversify its buyer mix and minimize its dependence on China. .
“We hope this has a positive evolution in the near term, in roughly three years to have a consolidated position in the (Indian) market,” Castello Branco told Reuters.
The company is also increasing its fuel oil exports to Singapore. The country, which acts as a shipping hub, has increased purchases of low-sulfur Petrobras fuel to comply with new maritime laws intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Production from the large deep sea Buzios field enlarged Brazil’s oil surplus and enabled Petrobras to raise its 2020 production target by 5% in recent weeks.
Producers are also bracing for stronger internal competition as they sell refineries and try to end the near-near monopoly of Brazilian fuel production. “To face stronger competition, we put the logistics, sales and marketing divisions … to act as active sellers, not passive sellers,” said the CEO. Although recently rising to become the third largest oil supplier to China, ahead of the United States, Brazil is still a relatively small seller to the Asian country compared to Russia and Saudi Arabia, says Castello Branco – but not for lack of appetite. China will absorb all the oil Brazil has to offer and often pays a premium for sweet crude from Brazil’s Tupi fields, he said. In April, Petrobras hit a historical figure of 1 million barrels per day of crude shipped to China as a sharp drop in internal fuel consumption diverted oil from domestic refineries. “At the moment, we don’t have the capacity to sell 1 million (barrels per day),” said Castello Branco. “With increased oil production, we will have the availability to do that.”
Reporting by Sabrina Valle; Edited by Kirsten Donovan and Marguerita Choy