Brazil's government-controlled oil multinational Petrobras plans to increase gasoline exports to compensate the lower consumption on the domestic market, due to the greater consumption of fuel alcohol – which overtook gasoline in February.
This is a fact that had not taken place since the end of the 1980s, at the height of the Pro-Alcohol, an ancient Brazilian government program that favored the production of alcohol.
This information was disclosed on Friday, April 25, by the Supply and Refining director at the organization, Paulo Roberto Costa, who said that the company will invest US$ 8.5 billion over the coming years in improvement of the quality of the gasoline produced in the country and in the reduction of sulfur content.
With this, the company may enter more demanding markets, like the European and United States, the main gasoline consumer in the world, using around 9 million barrels a day.
"Alcohol consumption in Brazil is growing very much, mainly as the price of the product is now very competitive. Therefore, up to 2010, Petrobras is going to work to improve the quality of its gasoline, by which time we should have premium gasoline, with better quality to be sold on the foreign market – mainly in Europe and North America," he said.
Paulo Roberto Costa stated that Petrobras currently exports gasoline to several nations, but said that the plan is to reach new consumer markets.
"Our gasoline goes to South America, Central America, Africa and the Middle East – where there are great producers and exporters of oil that do not have sufficient refining capacity to supply their own markets. We export gasoline, for example, to Iran," he said.
Regarding the sulfur content in gasoline, Costa said that starting in 2010 the market might be expanded "to countries in Asia – mainly Japan – and Europe, which are more demanding in the environmental point of view."