Brazil’s Petrobras plans to invest $68 billion in expanding its crude oil production, a figure that represents 84 percent of its total planned investments for the period 2022-2026.
Offshore Technology reports that the number is a substantial increase on previously planned investments of $55 billion Petrobras announced for the 2020-2025 period.
“Petrobras maintains its consistent strategy of focusing on projects with the potential to generate resources and contribute to the Brazilian society,” said chief executive Joaquim Silva e Luna.
“We prioritise transforming resources into wealth for the country while following the sustainable path for the energy transition,” he added. The company will allocate $1.8 billion from its 2022-2026 budget to decarbonization operations.
In October, Petrobras reported a net profit of $5.34 billion for the third quarter of the year, with revenues of $21.78 billion, benefiting like its peers from the robust increase in international oil prices. It also boasted a reduction in gross debt to $59.6 billion from $79.58 billion in the third quarter of 2020.
The sizeable net income, however, prompted a backlash from Brazil’s president, who criticized Petrobras for high fuel prices and taking too much in the way of profits.
“Petrobras doesn’t pursue profit for profit,” CEO Silva e Luna, who was appointed to the post by President Bolsonaro, said during an earnings call with analysts, as quoted by Bloomberg. “Our goal is to generate value for shareholders and society through taxes, dividends and job growth.”
Brazil has recently shaped up as one of the biggest hot spots in oil and gas, thanks to its presalt zone that contains abundant hydrocarbon reserves waiting to be tapped. Interest from investors is also significant, despite the green transition push. Brazil is already the largest oil producer in Latin America, but the country now plans to become one of the world’s five largest global crude producers.