Brazil’s reality check

06 July 2012

Petrobras’ new chief executive, Maria das Graças Foster, has already made her mark at the Brazilian company. The former chemical engineer has said Brazil can become a leading oil producer, but must temper its expectations, saying targets need to be ‘realistic and practical’. Justin Jacobs reports

The heady days at Petrobras when Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva hailed the company's pre-salt oil discoveries as a "gift from god" and its former chief executive Jose Sergio Gabrielli travelled the world touting an ever-brighter future for Brazil's oil future are over. Brazil's oil ambitions received a much-needed reality check this month. State-run Petrobras has said that developing the billions of barrels of oil off the country's coast is going to take longer and cost more than it has previously predicted. Maria das Graças Foster, Petrobras' new chief executive, took her first five-year business plan on the road in June in a bid to bridge the company's growing credibility gap. Petrobras has a well-deserved reputation as a deep-water technological and operational leader. But confidence in the company's ability to deliver on its production and spending targets has eroded, as observers believe the firm has consistently over-promised...



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