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Brazil looks to make friends with oil & gas

Business friendly: head of Brazil’s Investment Partnership Programme,”rio oil” Wellington Moreira Franco

A key official in the administration of Brazilian President Michel Temer took the stage at Rio Oil & Gas to pledge support for oil and gas investment in Brazil while presenting measures aimed at making contracts with the government more business-friendly.

Wellington Moreira Franco has been a close ally of Temer since the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff earlier this year, and has been involved in efforts to draw investment to Brazil.

He has been named as the head of the Investment Partnership Programme (PPI), designed to oversee the government’s concessions and infrastructure investments, as well as deepen collaboration between the public and private sectors.

“This administration is based on dialogue,” he told a luncheon at Rio Oil & Gas. “You can be absolutely sure you will be heard.”

Moreira Franco talked up Temer’s priorities, such as reining in government debt and reforming the country’s pension system, as well as oil and gas law changes such as relaxing pre-salt operatorship requirements for Petrobras and advancing the Repetro tax measure.

Moreira Franco also presented a range of potential changes for government contracting, such as allowing a mechanism to adjust for changes in exchange rates, as well as ensuring tender documents are prepared in languages other than Portuguese, such as English and Spanish, and that potential bidders have sufficient time to review them.

Furthermore, he expressed support for more personnel in regulatory agencies who could provide a “technical” perspective. In recent years the financial figures behind project regulation have been too easily supplanted by “ideology”, he claimed.

Moreira Franco also expressed backing for measures to facilitate support of research and development in the oil and gas sector, such as the revitalisation of an R&D centre that has been hobbled by the global downturn in oil prices.

Such advances happen “because there were policies in place to make things happen”, he said.

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