China National Petroleum Corporation joins Brazil’s Petrobras to complete refinery

6 July 2018

Brazilian oil group Petrobras announced it has reached an agreement with the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to add to the cooperation agreement signed in 2017 for the Rio de Janeiro Petrochemical Complex (Comperj), which is at a standstill and. according to the international press, has already cost Petrobras US$14 billion.

The agreement comes less than a week after Federal Supreme Court Justice Ricardo Lewandowski banned the sale of state-owned companies without congressional authorisation, a move that forced Petrobras to suspend the sale of certain assets, such as Transportadora Associada de Gás, valued at between US$8 billion and US$9 billion.

The decision affected the oil company’s divestment target of US$21 billion’s worth of asset sales in 2017/2018, of which only US$4.8 billion was sold.

The partnership announced on Wednesday involves the construction of a refinery with capacity to process 165,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) at Comperj, alongside the revitalisation of the Marlim group, made up of Marlim, Voador, Marlim Leste and Marlim Sul, which were once the stars of the Campos Basin and now produce half of what they produced eight years ago.

Marlim Leste, for example, which in 2010 extracted 143,000 bpd, currently only produces 70,000 bpd.

The idea of the agreement is to process the heavy oil extracted in the Marlim grouping at the refinery that will be built by the Chinese group and which according to Petrobras is 80% complete.

The Comperj petrochemical and refining project, which dates back to 2004, was suspended in 2015 following the corruption case known as “Lava-Jacto.”

Petrobras abandoned the project that same year and since then has been looking for a partner interested in completing one of the two refineries planned, which happened on Wednesday with the CNPC group. (macauhub)