The Brazilian government's plans to change the nation's oil law will not turn state-controlled oil company Petrobras into an outsourcing producer of crude nor hinder its ability to bid for exploration permits, a local newspaper said on Monday.
Petrobras CEO Jose Sergio Gabrielli told Valor that the implementation of production-sharing agreements in the so-called sub-salt deep-water oil reserves will favor the company. Plans to build five refineries through 2020 will continue even if the changes limit Petrobras' access to sub-salt oil, Gabrielli told Valor.
Asked whether the sharing agreements system will lead to increased corruption, he said the concern was not corruption but returns on exploratory risk, without elaborating further. Gabrielli told Valor allowing Petrobras alone to explore for oil in some sub-salt blocs does not violate the nation's political constitution, as claimed by some rivals that have been left out of the sub-salt.
Gabrielli did not give a timetable or detailed assessment of possible changes to the oil law, saying they are still being analyzed by government officials.
(Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)