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New Braskem: a Brazilian Petrochemical Giant Is Born

OGX Petrobras Petrobras and Odebrecht, two Brazilian companies announced the purchase of Unipar’s share of the Quattor petrochemical company and its incorporation into the competing enterprise Braskem, resulting in the creation of the Americas’ largest company in the industry in terms of thermoplastic resin production capacity, according to a press release issued by Petrobras.

Petrobras is a partner of Braskem, a company controlled by Odebrecht, and of Quattor, of which Unipar was the majority stakeholder up until now.

The shareholders’ agreement signed by Petroquisa (Petrobras’ oil industry subsidiary), Odebrecht, Braskem and Unipar provides for an increase in Petrobras’ stake in Braskem, and the petrochemical company’s capital will receive an additional 4.5 billion to 5 billion Brazilian reais (US$ 2.5 billion to US$ 2.8 billion). The proposal had been under negotiation for months, but there was a divergence among Unipar stakeholders concerning the sale.

Another agreement signed by Petrobras and Odebrecht provides for shared decision-making at Braskem, which will now have a near-monopoly over the Brazilian petrochemical industry. The agreement establishes 50.1% of the voting capital to Odebrecht.

In order to make the deal viable, Petrobras and Odebrecht are going to establish a holding company named BRK Investimentos Petroquímicos, which will hold all of the Braskem shares owned by the two; BRK will receive 2.5 billion reais (US$ 1.4 billion) from Petrobras and 1 billion reais (US$ 558.5 million) from Odebrecht.

“Thus, Petrobras will concentrate its investment in the petrochemical industry, including its share of Quattor, into a company that will have greater competitive advantages on a global scale. The company will also have a guarantee of stake ownership in this new company, to be shared with Odebrecht,” according to the press release issued by Petrobras.

Petrobras, Odebrecht and Braskem have signed another agreement concerning management and ownership of the Petrochemical Complex of the State of Rio de Janeiro (Comperj) and of the Suape Petrochemical Complex, in the state of Pernambuco, both of which are being built by Petrobras. After all operations are concluded, Braskem will have 26 petrochemical plants.

Hydrocarbon Discovery

OGX announced January 22 that it has found hydrocarbons in the albian section (the layer of soil formed between 112 million and 99.6 million years ago) of well 1-OGX-5-RJS, located in block BM-C-43, in shallow waters in the southern part of Campos Basin close to Rio de Janeiro.

The company identified a 130-meter column of oil, with net pay of around 30 meters in carbonate reservoirs. OGX should continue drilling this well up to its total estimated depth, of 4,300 meters.

“These initial results from well OGX-5 are very encouraging, as they confirm that the high-quality carbonate reservoirs detected in wells OGX-2 and OGX-3 are also present in the southern reaches of our blocks”, commented Paulo Mendonça, OGX’s general executive officer.

OGX is the largest Brazilian private company in the sector of oil and natural gas in terms of maritime exploration area. The company has 100% participation in block BM-C-43. Well OGX-5 is located some 79 kilometers away from the coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro, at water depths of approximately 150 meters.

Poor Quality

Brazil’s regulatory body for the fuels sector, National Agency for Petroleum, Natural  Gas and Biofuels (ANP) has issued warnings to 31 ethanol distributors in the state of São Paulo since the beginning of the year. According to a note from ANP, the problem is “Irregularities in the quality of the ethanol they are transporting.”

ANP inspectors examined 253 trucks transporting ethanol in the Ribeirão Preto, São José do Rio Preto, Sorocaba, Paulínia and São José dos Campos areas of the state. Six samples were collected for laboratory analysis.

The distributors, after an administrative process, can be fined from 5,000 reais to 5 million reais (US$ 2,743 to US$ 2.7 million)

According to ANP, in 2009 they made 6,373 inspections in the state of São Paulo, which resulted in 1,964 warnings and 221 interdictions. ANP did not release data on fines.

 

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