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Petrobras on top

PdV has long been Latin America's pre-eminent oil company. But it is losing ground to Petrobras, writes Robert Cauclanis

PDV has the largest proved oil reserves outside the Middle East and achieved sales of $96bn last year. But the Venezuelan national oil company (NOC) is in trouble: production is falling and, with a substantial margin of its profits being used to fund social projects, oil investment is insufficient. PdV's decline coincides with an impressive rise in the fortunes of Brazil's NOC, Petrobras. When Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez was elected in 1998, PdV dwarfed Petrobras, producing 3.5m barrels a day (b/d) of oil, compared with the Brazilian company's 1.1m b/d. But Petrobras, which has recently boosted oil exports to the US, says it expects to be bigger than PdV within a few years. In sales, p

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