(TNPetroleo) Government representatives, MME’s Secretary of Petroleum and Natural Gas, José Mauro Ferreira Coelho, and the director general of ANP, Rodolfo Saboia, defend the program for the sale of the Petrobras refineries.
“We think that divestment in refining is fundamental to create the new market,” said Coelho. The secretary argues that, without new investments in refining, in 2030, the country will import more than 800 million liters of oil products per day. “Divestment in refining is essential for this. We need to create the conditions necessary to attract investments, to increase the capacity of the current refineries and to build new ones. We need 600 thousand barrels per day (bpd) of additional refining capacity ”, he adds.
Saboia, of the ANP, also claims that the consumer should be favored with the growth of competition. He believes that the entry of investors in small refineries should also contribute to the development of the refining market.
Petrobras has always responded by itself for the fuel supply system in Brazil. Its refineries are complementary. They do not produce the same products. For regional markets to be supplied, there is a circulation of products from each of the state refineries throughout the country.
When selling part of its refining park, Petrobras is no longer responsible for the supply operation, which becomes an exclusive commitment of the regulatory agency. The ANP, therefore, has the challenge of replacing the state-owned company in this control of the supply of oil products and of dealing with different agents in the sector.
“ANP is preparing for the challenge. We have logistical difficulties, for example. The ANP must be ready to develop tools for monitoring and anticipating problems. This is being built. The ANP will make the necessary regulation so that the new reality is under its control ”, says Saboia.
Critics of the sale of Petrobras’ refineries argue that the state monopoly will be replaced by private regional monopolies. This is the conclusion of a study promoted by PUC-Rio. Marcelo Araújo, president of the Brazilian Downstream Association (ABD), counters the criticism. “As the investor has only one refinery (with limited volumes of production capacity), the tendency is to exploit the potential of the markets to the maximum. The expectation is that they expand the capacity of the refineries by 15% to 30% ”, he says.