Not to be confused with Petronas.
Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. — Petrobras
Sociedade Anônima
Traded as
Industry Petroleum industry
Founded 1953 (1953)[1]
Headquarters Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Area served
Key people
Pedro Parente, CEO
Ivan de Souza Monteiro, CFO[2]
Products Petroleum
Petroleum products
natural gas
Production output
2.3 million barrels of oil equivalent (14,000,000 GJ) per day[1]
Revenue Decrease US$ 98.2 billion (2015)[1]
Decrease -US$6.963 billion (2014)[1]
Decrease -US$7.367 billion (2014)[1]
Total assets Decrease US$298.687 billion (2014)[1]
Total equity Decrease US$116.978 billion (2014)[1]
Owner Brazilian Government (64%)[3]
Number of employees
80.908 (2014)[4]
Subsidiaries Petrobras Distribuidora
Petrobras Argentina

Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. — Petrobras, more commonly known as simply Petrobras (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˌpɛtɾoˈbɾas]), is a semi-public Brazilian multinational corporation in the petroleum industry headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The company's name translates to Brazilian Petroleum Corporation — Petrobras.

The company was ranked #58 in the most recent Fortune Global 500 list.[6]

Current operations

Petrobras headquarters in downtown Rio de Janeiro.

Business areas

The company operates in 6 business areas, listed in order of revenues:[1]

Production and reserves

Petrobras controls significant oil and energy assets in 16 countries in Africa, North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.[1]

However, Brazil represented 92% of Petrobras' worldwide production in 2014 and accounted for 97% of Petrobras' worldwide reserves on 31 December 2014.[1]

As of 31 December 2014, the company had 8,112.8 million barrels of oil equivalent (4.9633×1010 GJ) of proved developed reserves and 4,599.7 million barrels of oil equivalent (2.8140×1010 GJ) of proved undeveloped reserves in Brazil.[1] Of these reserves, 62.7% were located in the offshore Campos Basin.[1] The largest growth prospect for the company is the Lula oil field in the Santos Basin.[1]

In 2015, the company produced 2.284 million barrels of oil equivalent (13,970,000 GJ) per day, of which 89% was petroleum and 11% was natural gas.[1]

International investments

Petrobras' global oil exploration, as shown in December 2006 with a total of 243,292 BOED
Refinery in Cochabamba, Bolivia, which was nationalized by the Bolivian government in 2007

Reserves held outside of Brazil accounted for 8.4% of production in 2014.[1] The majority of these reserves are in South America; the company has assets in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Paraguay, and Uruguay.[1]

Petrobras owns refineries in Texas (100,000 barrels per day of throughput), Okinawa, Japan (100,000 barrels per day of throughput), and Bahía Blanca, Argentina (30,000 barrels per day of throughput).[1]

The company also owns exploration blocks in the Gulf of Mexico and through joint ventures has production in Nigeria, Benin, Gabon, and Namibia.[1]


The Brazilian government directly owns 54 percent of Petrobras' common shares with voting rights, while the Brazilian Development Bank and Brazil's Sovereign Wealth Fund (Fundo Soberano) each control 5 percent, bringing the State's direct and indirect ownership to 64 percent.[7] The privately held shares are traded on BM&F Bovespa, where they are part of the Ibovespa index.

Corporate social responsibility

Petrobras is a major supporter of the arts in Brazil.[8]


Petrobras' financial growth between 2002 and 2006
Petrobras standard model for its land oil pump, popularly known as Wooden Horse (Cavalo de Pau in Portuguese) in UFRN, Natal, Brazil.
Skyscraper hosting Petrobras' offices in Paulista Avenue, São Paulo.

Petrobras was created in 1953 during the government of Brazilian president Getúlio Vargas under the slogan "The Oil is Ours" (Portuguese: "O petróleo é nosso") and was given a legal monopoly in Brazil.[9]

At the time of the founding of Petrobras in 1953, Brazil only produced 2,700 barrels of oil per day.[10]

Petrobras began processing oil shale in 1953, developing Petrosix technology for extracting oil from oil shale. An industrial size retort began processing shale in the 1990s.[11] In 2006, Petrobras claimed that this industrial retort had a design capacity to process 260 tonnes/hour of oil shale.[12]

In 1961, Petrobras geologist Walter K. Link published Link's memorandum, which implied that the company was better off exploring offshore instead of onshore.[13]

In 1961, the company's REDUC refinery commenced operations.[14]

In 1963, Petrobras discovered the Recôncavo and Carmópolis oil fields.[15]

In 1963, Petrobras created its research center Cenpes in Rio de Janeiro. It remains one of the world's largest centers dedicated to energy research.[16]

In 1967, the company established its Petrobras Quimica S.A ("Petroquisa") subsidiary focused on petrochemicals and the conversion of naphtha into ethene.[17]

The company's growth was halted by the 1973 oil crisis. The entire country was affected, and the "Brazilian miracle", a period when annual GDP growth exceeding 10%, ended. Petrobras nearly went bankrupt.[18]

In 1974, the company discovered an oil field in the Campos Basin. This discovery boosted its finances and helped it restructure nationwide.[19]

In 1975, the Brazilian Government temporarily allowed foreign operators in Brazil and Petrobras signed contracts with foreign companies to explorate for more oilfields in Brazil.[20]

The company was also affected by the 1979 energy crisis, although it was not nearly as bad as in 1973.

In 1994, Petrobras placed into service Petrobras 36, the world's largest oil platform. The platform sunk after an explosion in 2001 and was completely lost.[21]

In 1997, the government approved Law N.9.478, which broke Petrobras's monopoly and allowed for competitors to develop Brazil's oilfields. The Brazilian government also created the National Petroleum Agency (Agência Nacional do Petróleo, ANP), responsible for the regulation and supervision of activities in the petroleum industry, and the National Council of Energy Policies, a public agency responsible for the development of public energy policy.[15]

Also in 1997, Petrobras reached the mark of producing 1 million barrels (160,000 m3) per day. The company also executed agreements with other Latin American governments and began operations outside of Brazil.[22]

In 1999, the National Petroleum Agency signed agreements with other companies, officially ending the company's monopoly.[23]

In 2000, Petrobras achieved a world record for oil exploration in deep waters. The exploration reached a depth of 1,877 metres (6,158 ft) below sea level.[24]

In 2002, Petrobras acquired the Argentine company Perez Companc Energía (PECOM Energía S.A.) from the Perez Companc family and its foundation, for $1.18 billion. This acquisition included assets in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador. The company had 1.1 billion barrels of crude oil reserves and production of 181 thousand barrels of oil equivalent (1,110,000 GJ) per day.[25]

In 2003, on its 50-year anniversary, Petrobras surpassed 2 million barrels of oil equivalent (12,000,000 GJ) of daily production.[22]

In 2005, Petrobras announced a joint venture with Nippon Alcohol Hanbai to sell ethanol from Brazil to Japan called Brazil-Japan Ethanol.[26]

On 21 April 2006, the company started production on the P-50 oil platform in the Albacora East Field at Campos Basin, which gave Brazil self-sufficiency in oil production.[10]

On 1 May 2006, after the Bolivian gas conflict, Bolivia's president Evo Morales announced the nationalization of all gas and oil fields in the country and ordered the occupation of all fields by the Bolivian Army.[27] On 4 May 2006, Petrobras cancelled a major future investment plan in Bolivia as a result of the nationalization.[28] The Bolivian Government demanded an increase in the royalty payments made by foreign petroleum companies to 82%, but wound up settling for a 50% royalty interest.[29]

In 2007, Petrobras inaugurated the Petrobras 52 Oil Platform. The 52 is the biggest Brazilian oil platform and third in the world.[30]

In 2007 and 2008, Petrobras made several major oil discoveries including the Lula oil field (formerly known as the Tupi field), the Jupiter field, and the Sugar Loaf field, all in the Santos Basin, 300 km from the coast of Rio de Janeiro. The oil fields were discovered by partnerships that include Petrobras, Royal Dutch Shell, and Galp Energia. However, estimates of reserves in these new fields varied widely.[31]

Oil platform P-51, the first 100% Brazilian oil platform

In January 2009, the P-51 Platform, the first semisubmersible platform built entirely in Brazil, started production in the Campos Basin. The platform is capable of producing up to 180,000 barrels of oil per day.[32]

In February 2009, China agreed to supply Petrobras with US$10 billion in loans. In exchange, Petrobras agreed to supply 60,000-100,000 barrels of oil per day to a subsidiary of Sinopec and 40,000-60,000 barrels of oil per day to PetroChina.[33]

In August 2009, Petrobras acquired ExxonMobil's Esso assets in Chile for US$400 million.[34]

In September 2010, the company completed a US$70 billion share offering, the largest share offering in history. The funds were to be used to develop the newly discovered oil fields.[35]

In 2012, Petrobras handed back permits that it had to explore offshore New Zealand.[36]

In July 2013, a worker strike action shut down production at several of the company's oil platforms.[37]

In September 2013, Petrobras sold 11 onshore exploration and production blocks in Colombia to Perenco for US$380 million.[38]

It emerged in September 2013 that the US government had been allegedly spying on Petrobras after Organizações Globo reported the claims on national television. The information was reportedly provided by US journalist Glenn Greenwald.[39] Petrobras announced that it was investing R$21 billion over five years to improve its data security.[40]

In 2014, the company sold its assets in Peru to PetroChina for US$2.6 billion.[41]

In 2014, Petrobras set a new company record for average daily production of 2.863 million barrels of oil equivalent (17,520,000 GJ).[42]

By November 2015, the company had accumulated $128 billion in debt, 84% of which was denominated in foreign currencies.[43]

Main article: Operation Car Wash

In 2014, the largest corruption scandal in the history of Brazil, centered around Petrobras, was uncovered. According to the investigation, a small number of top Petrobras officials colluded with an organized cartel of 16 companies to overcharge Petrobras for construction and service work and these top officials received bribes and kickbacks. Petrobras officials have pegged the total of all bribes at nearly $3 billion. As of August 2015, 117 indictments have been issued, 5 politicians have been arrested, and criminal cases have been brought against 13 companies. Brazilian president Dilma Rouseff, who promised to reduce corruption during her election campaign, and former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, both of whom served on the board of directors of Petrobras during the scandals, have both been blamed. This has sparked protests in Brazil.[44]

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sued Petrobras and its auditors, PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a result of the corruption scandal.[45]

Environmental record

Petrobras has noted on its website several initiatives that it has taken to preserve the environment. These include sponsoring efforts to support both ocean and forest ecosystems.[46]

Petrobras subscribes to the United Nations Global Compact, a voluntary agreement which encompasses a set of principles regarding human rights, working conditions, corruption, and the environment.[47]

In 2008, the Spanish consultancy firm Management and Excellence acknowledged Petrobras as the world's most sustainable oil company.[48]

Oil spills

Major oil spills – 1975 to 2001[49]
Date Volume (litres) Location
March 1975 6 million Guanabara Bay
October 1983 1.5 – 3 million Bertioga
February 1984 700,000 Cubatão
August 1989 690,000 São Sebastião
January 1994 350,000 – 400,000 Campos Basin
May 1994 2.7 – 3.1 million São Sebastião
March 1997 600,000 – 2.8 Guanabara Bay
October 1998 1 – 1.5 million São José dos Campos
January 2000 1.3 million Guanabara Bay
March 2000 18,000 Tramandaí
March 2000 7,250 São Sebastião
July 2000 4 million Barigui Iguaçu Rivers
August 2000 1,800 Rio Grande de Norte
August 2000 4,000 Angra dos Reis
November 2000 86,000 São Sebastião
March 2001 1.4 million Campos Basin

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 "pbraform20f_2014.htm - Generated by SEC Publisher for SEC Filing". Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  2. "Petrobras". Petrobras. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  3. Brazilian government boosting Petrobras stake to 64 percent France 24. Retrieved on 2010-10-15.
  4. "• Petrobras employee number 2009-2014 - Statistic". Statista. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  5. "List of Subsidiaries". Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  6. eddiegilman (20 July 2016). "Petrobras". Fortune. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  7. Source: 09 – April 2011 – "Governance – Capital Ownership" at Petrobras Investor Relation Site
  8. "Fostering Culture: We encourage the Arts and Culture - Petrobras". Petrobras. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  9. Bello (14 February 2015). "Whose oil in Brazil?". The Economist.
  10. 1 2 Peter Muello (21 April 2006). "New Rig Brings Brazil Oil Self-Sufficiency". Washington Post. Associated Press.
  13. Dott, Robert (2001). "From the Archivists Corner - Linkages" (PDF). The Outcrop: 14–17.
  14. Diana Kinch (26 December 2011). "Petrobras halts some Reduc refinery ops after fire".
  15. 1 2 Andréa Novais (24 November 2011). "Understand Petrobras". The Brazil Business.
  16. "Press Tour to the Petrobras Research and Development Center (Cenpes) on Monday, 30 June". Brazilian Government. 24 June 2014.
  17. Bloomberg: Company Overview of Petrobras Quimica S.A. - Petroquisa
  18. "The Alignment Factor". Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  19. "Campos Basin". Petrobras. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  20. James Brooke (7 November 1994). "U.S. Oil and Gas Companies Test Waters in Brazil, Again". New York Times.
  21. "Petrobras P-36". Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  22. 1 2 "Now 50, Petrobras, the Brazilian National Oil Company, Has Aged Well". Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. 8 October 2003.
  23. "Monopoly ends for Brazil's Petrobras". Offshore Magazine. 1 November 1999.
  24. Jonathan Wheatley (18 December 2000). "Pumping Up Petrobras". Bloomberg L.P.
  25. "Petrobras to acquire control of Perez Companc". Oil and Gas Journal. 29 July 2002.
  26. Ative Soluções. "Japan - Petrobras". Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  27. Christine Hauser (1 May 2006). "Bolivia Nationalizes Natural Gas Industry". New York Times.
  28. "Petrobras scraps Bolivia project". BBC. 4 May 2006.
  29. "A hard bargain: Evo Morales deals and wins on gas". The Economist. 2 November 2006.
  30. "Petrobras starts production tests at P-52 platform". Oil and Gas Journal. 26 November 2007.
  31. "The next oil giant?". The Economist. 19 March 2009.
  32. "Petrobras' P-51 Kicks Off Production in the Campos Basin". RigZone. 26 January 2009.
  33. Jonathan Wheatley (19 February 2009). "Brazil to supply oil to China for loans". Financial Times.
  34. Fábio Palmigiani (8 August 2008). "Petrobras to acquire Esso assets in Chile for US$400mn". BN Americas.
  35. Peter Millard (24 September 2010). "Petrobras Raises $70 Billion as Investors See Growth". Bloomberg L.P.
  36. "Brazilian oil giant Petrobras dumps NZ exploration permits". New Zealand Herald. 4 December 2012.
  37. "Petrobras Workers Strike, Shut Down Some Oil Platforms". Forbes Magazine. 25 July 2013.
  38. "Brazilian oil giant Petrobras dumps NZ exploration permits". New Zealand Herald. 4 December 2012.
  39. Asher Levine (8 September 2013). "U.S. government spied on Brazil's Petrobras oil firm". Reuters.
  40. Leahy, Joe (18 September 2013). "Brazil's Petrobras to invest heavily in data security". Financial Times.
  41. Chen Aizhu and Judy Hua and Anthony Boadle (13 November 2013). "Petrobras sells Peru unit to PetroChina/CNPC for $2.6 billion". Reuters.
  42. "Petrobras hits 'historical' production record". Offshore Energy Today. 13 January 2015.
  43. "Petrobras's Dangerous Debt Math: $24 Billion Owed in 24 Months". Bloomberg L.P. 18 November 2015.
  44. David Segal (7 August 2015). "Petrobras Oil Scandal Leaves Brazilians Lamenting a Lost Dream". New York Times.
  45. "Bill Gates sues oil giant Petrobras and PwC over corruption scandal". The Telegraph. 25 September 2015.
  46. "Mapping to preserve". Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  47. "Petroleo Brasileiro SA - Petrobras – 2015 Communication on Progress - UN Global Compact". Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  48. "Petrobras is the most sustainable oil company". T&B Petroleum. 22 February 2008.
  49. "Case study: An oil stained legacy – Greenpeace do Brasil versus Petrobras S.A." in Tulder, Rob Van; Zwart, Alex Van Der (20 January 2006). International Business-Society Management: Linking Corporate Responsibility And Globalization (PDF). Routledge. ISBN 9780415342414. Retrieved 6 June 2012. (Entry at Google Books)
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