Brazil’s Petrobras Investing US$ 55 Billion in 2008

Almir Barbassa Almir Barbassa. the Financial director of state-controlled Brazilian oil multinational Petrobras, informed that investment at the oil company this year should total from US$ 54 billion to US$ 55 billion, a volume approximately 20% greater than the US$ 45 billion invested last year.

The majority of the funds will be the company's own, but in order to face up to the growing volume of investment required in order to develop the mega fields in the pre-salt layer, Petrobras intends to shop for US$ 4 billion to US$ 5 billion in the market by the end of the year.

Barbassa stated that the company has already obtained loans of 6.4 billion reais (US$ 3.8 billion) in the first three months of the year, and that another US$ 2 billion to US$ 3 billion in loans obtained this year should be received by the company until December.

Regarding the new loans, Barbassa stated that Petrobras is still analyzing the best opportunities available, but that due to the good situation in the capital market, at least US$ 2 billion should be obtained.

"We are taking our time to study the market, and Petrobras always seeks the best financing opportunities. Anyway, we intend to shop for funds from various options, such as the capital market, the banking market and foreign credit agencies. The idea is to explore every existing alternative," he claimed.

Although he announced the investment volume for this year, Barbassa admitted that there should be a delay in the company's disclosure of its next Business Plan.

"The discoveries made in the pre-salt layer call for greater caution and accuracy in the elaboration of the plan, therefore we will not disclose it between July and August, as we usually do," he admitted. "It should be disclosed in September," he asserted.

The statements were made during the disclosure of the state-owned company's financial balance for the first quarter of the year, in which the company posted net profit 6.925 billion reais (US$ 4.1 billion), a result 68% higher than recorded in the same period of 2007.

ABr

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