Petrobras Downstream Sector Focuses On Modernizing And Expanding The Refining Park

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SOURCE Petrobras News Agency | 30 August 2012

By 2016, Petrobras will invest US$71.6 billion in the Downstream sector, focusing on modernizing and expanding its refining park. The sector has a total of 255 projects under deployment, with emphasis on the Abreu and Lima Refinery and on the first train of the Rio de Janeiro Petrochemical Complex (Comperj), expected to boost Petrobras' refining capacity by approximately 400,000 barrels per day.

The Company's Business and Management Plan for the business segments related to the Downstream sector was presented this afternoon, August 29, by José Carlos Consenza, Downstream Director, who highlighted the actions to be taken aimed at improving the management process. According to the director, "an important component added to the Business Plan was the integrated portfolio management, which is aimed at monitoring the projects, in order to secure ongoing improvements by means of each undertaking's S performance curve. These curves involve the monthly monitoring of the projects to meet the financial and physical targets that have been set for each one. This will allow us to monitor the ventures in more detail and with improved accuracy, allowing us to correct possible distortions."

Cosenza highlighted the opportunities of the Brazilian market: "We have a great opportunity, which is our market. In the period ranging from 2001 to 2011, while the demand for gasoline rose about 40% in Brazil, this increase was only 15% in on the global market. Demand for diesel was up 29% in the international market and 43% in the country."

The investments earmarked for the segment are aimed to meet this growing demand. Just for the refining park’s expansion projects that are currently under, planned investments add up to US$24.9 billion. When they come into operation, the Abreu and Lima Refinery and the first train at Comperj will allow the company to decrease diesel imports. According to the director, diesel imports are expected to reach 280,000 barrels per day in 2014, but should decrease to between 100,000 and 120,000 barrels per day in 2016.  In terms of gasoline, the forecast is approximately 90,000 barrels per day in 2014 as well as in 2016.

These investments for expanding the refining park add to a series of projects that Petrobras has already been carrying out in the past few years, including measures to improve operating efficiency, thus optimizing the use of its assets. Highlighting the results that have already been reached, the director stressed that "comparing the first half of 2012 with the first half of 2011, we are processing 61,000 more barrels per day and working with a refinery utilization rate in the range of 96%, a record at the company. "By increasing throughput, we were able to add an average production of 83,000 barrels of oil products per day. These actions, aimed at improving operations, will continue being implemented and will involve investments of US$11 billion in projects that are already under deployment at existing refineries.

The refining park modernization plan, which is currently underway, will allow the Company to process more domestic oil, to increase the production of high-value oil products added into its product mix and to produce fuels with lower sulfur content. With these projects, the average complexity level of Petrobras' refineries, which were at level 7 in 2006, will get close to level 10 in 2016. The complexity index is the capacity to generate more noble products with the same volume of oil.

The director also highlighted infrastructure projects that will get important investments, such as the Transfer and Storage Offshore Unit (TSOU). According to the director, this is “an important project that will receive oil from our platforms and transfer it to vessels, which, in turn, will take the product to our refineries or to be exported."

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