Aug 2, 2019
Petrobras President Roberto Castello Branco said that the company is reviewing its strategic plan and expects to announce to the market the new strategy in November. He pointed out that the plan will focus on cost reduction.
“We want to bridge the gap that separates us from our peers,” he said in a conference call with analysts to comment on the company’s record Q2 performance.
Castello Branco also stated that the company’s divestment program is already practically closed.
“Internally we have already closed the divestment plan. Now is the structuring and execution phase of the various projects, ”he said.
Petrobras’ CFO and investor relations officer Andrea de Almeida said she does not expect to see “big changes” in investments under the company’s new business plan.
Yesterday, the state-owned company announced a reduction in its investment target for 2019 from $ 16 billion initially forecast to between $ 10 billion and $ 11 billion.
The president of Petrobras said the company made a commitment to the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Cade) to sell eight refineries by the end of 2021. According to him, however, the goal is to accelerate this divestment.
“The goal is to do it as soon as possible. We don’t want to wait until 2021. We’re in a hurry, ”he said.
He added that he does not see a “serious impediment” to the sale of these assets.
Petrobras has already begun receiving non-binding bids for four of the eight refineries included in the Cade commitment agreement. The idea is to release the teasers (sales alert) of the second refinery wave in September.
Petrobras’ director of refining and natural gas, Anelise Lara, said the refineries offered for sale by the company have attracted the interest of companies of different profiles. According to her, the oil company expects competition for all units of the divestment package.
“What we have seen of interest in our refineries are trading companies, local distributors and some international oil companies. And we expect a big dispute, ”said the executive. “We hope to be very successful in sales,” he added.
Castello Branco said price will be an important variable in the decision to sell refineries. “We were not forced to sell. It was a company strategy. So, [selling] price is important, ”he said.
The president of Petrobras also said that Transpetro is not in the company’s divestment portfolio.
“Transpetro is not on the table. It was our only subsidiary created by law, which requires its inclusion in the privatization program, which is complex, ”said Castello Branco.
Anelise, from the refining and natural gas board, recalled that Petrobras is selling the logistics infrastructure associated with the eight refineries included in the divestment program.
“In this sense, we will have a Transpetro formed in the [logistics] part that will stay with us after this [refinery] divestment process. We will focus on the São Paulo region. We will have the five refineries in Rio and São Paulo and the logistics of these refineries in the Southeast, ”said Anelise.