Brazil Lends Petrobras US$ 13 Billion to Fund Its 5-Year, US$ 174-Billion Plan

Brazilian Petrobras BNDES, Brazil's National Bank for Economic and Social development, will lend 25 billion reais (US$ 12.8 billion) to state-controlled oil and gas multinational Petrobras denominated in local Treasury notes, financial newspaper Valor Econômico reported on Thursday, July 16, 2009.

Under the transaction, the Brazilian Treasury will issue the notes and transfer them to BNDES, which will, in turn, lend them to Petrobras, Valor said, citing the company's chief financial officer, Almir Barbassa.

Petrobras will distribute the notes among its ten pension funds, which will sell them to raise cash to pay for investments and other expenditures, Barbassa told the newspaper.

BNDES has committed the loans and the structuring for the transaction is finished, although it needs final approval by the National Treasury, Valor said, citing BNDES President Luciano Coutinho.

Petrobras requested the credit line in March as part of a plan to fund its five-year, US$ 174 billion investment plan, Valor said.

Petrobras has had to rely on government lending to fund a significant part of its investment plan, which has been challenged by the plunge in oil prices from last year's record highs and the impact of the credit crunch.

This year, in addition to a US$ 6.5 billion bridge loan led by Banco Santander and Société Générale among others, Petrobras secured a 12.5 billion credit line from BNDES, 2 billion in loans from the EximBank of the United States and 10 billion from the China Development Bank.

Angola Oil

Odebrecht Oil and Gas, an arm of the Odebrecht Organization, discovered oil off the coastline of Angola, in Africa. The discovery took place at the Chissonga-1 well, located in Bloc 16, at a depth of 4,725 meters. Tests point to a flow rate of 6,850 barrels of oil per day, according to information disclosed by the company.

This is the first drilling in a program that forecasts exploration of three wells this year, year by a consortium comprised of Maersk Oil (50% and operator), Sonangol (20%), Odebrecht Oil and Gas (15%) and Devon Energy Corporation (15%). The consortium has been operating in the region since 2002.

With the finding in Angola, the company consolidates the resumption of investment in Exploration & Production of Oil and Gas. In early 2008, Odebrecht Oil and Gas announced the commercial availability of the first exploratory well at Bloc POT-T-612 in the Potiguar Basin (Carcará Field), in the northern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte.

In addition to the Exploration & Production segment, Odebrecht Oil and Gas provides integrated services and operates oil platforms, providing services for the industry. The company is present in Brazil, Angola, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea and Venezuela.

MP/Anba

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