Petrobras to invest $174.4bn with new plan

Petrobras plans to spend $174.4 billion in the 2009-2013 period, 56% more than the amount budgeted under its previous five-year estimate.

Petrobras will invest an average $35 billion a year to expand oil and gas output, refining and fuels distribution, chief executive Jose Sergio Gabrielli said. The budget was approved three months later than expected. The increase comes amid a 68% drop in the price of oil since the commodity reached a record $147.27 a barrel on 11 July on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Petrobras had originally planned to release its spending plans in October. Petrobras has used government-backed or subsidised loans to make up for a fall in cash holdings under its $112 billion 2008- 2012 plan, a programme that committed the company to spend more than $22 billion a year. The company sees its crude output in Brazil growing to 3.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2013, boosted by output from its massive, recently discovered subsalt reserves. Petrobras sees subsalt oil output at 219,000 bpd by 2013, 582,000 bpd by 2015 and 1.8 million bpd by 2020, said Gabrielli. Of the total investments, Petrobras will allocate $92 billion for exploration and production, including the subsalt reserves, compared with $65 billion that was directed to E&P during the previous 2008-12 plan. Gabrielli said that the plans were based on the presumption that world oil prices would average about $42 a barrel over the period but saw prices as low as $37 a barrel this year.

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