Ticker PBR

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Price US dollars
As of 18:26 23 Jan 2020
Market cap. US dollars
10,389.62 million
As of 18:26 23 Jan 2020

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Petrobas claims largest gas well finds since 2006

Petrobras building
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Brazilian state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro says it has made natural gas discoveries in six deep-water fields in the Sergipe Basin.

Petrobras said it is now looking at drawing up a budget plan to finance production from the potential wells that were discovered "in the last few years."

A Brazilian newspaper reported on Sunday that the find was the largest since the sub-salt discoveries in 2006, and that Petrobras could extract up to 20 million cubic meters of natural gas per day, equivalent to one third of total Brazilian production.

Brazil and Petrobras close to deal

Petrobras and Brazil flags
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Brazil's government will announce "within days" a deal with state-run oil company Petrobras to settle a multi-billion-dollar contract dispute and clear the way to auction billions of barrels of oil off of the Brazilian coast, a minister said on Monday.

Economy Minister Paulo Guedes told journalists that his team sat down recently with officials at the Mines and Energy Ministry, and that "the deal is done."

Reuters reported earlier on Monday that an source had told the news agency that Petroleo Brasileiro, as it is formally known, and the government had "practically agreed" on the size of a multi-billion-dollar payment to Petrobras to settle the fight.

Brazil's Petrobras posts first annual profit in 5 years

Petrobras oil refinery

Brazil's state oil company Petrobras made 25bn reais ($7.1bn; £5.3bn) in 2018, the firm's first profit in five years.

The company said the result was helped by better margins on derivatives sales in Brazil and crude exports, as well as higher Brent prices and a stronger dollar.

It comes despite the firm paying more than $853m to the US and Brazil to end a long-running corruption investigation.

Brazil files 'first of many' Petrobras charges

Petrobras oil facility

Brazilian federal prosecutors have filed corruption charges against two former executives of the oil trader Trafigura for allegedly paying at least $1.5m (£875,000) in bribes to employees of Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras.

Prosecutors said in a written statement that the charges filed against Mariano Marcondes Ferraz, a former Trafigura top executive, and Marcio Pinto Magalhaes, a local country representative, were the first of many to come against the world's largest oil traders.

Vitol, Glencore, and Mercuria Energy Group are also under investigation in Brazil.

What can a country do against rising global oil prices?

Daniel Gallas

BBC South America business correspondent

A man walks past Petrobras headquarters in Brazil

That’s a question Brazil has been grappling with for about a decade.

From 2011 to 2016, state-controlled giant Petrobras - which plays a big part in domestic fuel prices - offered great subsidies to consumers. They helped keep Brazil’s inflation down and secured job creation, but Petrobras suffered huge losses that threatened the company’s long-term prospects.

Then in 2016 came Mr Pedro Parente and the company took a U-turn. All subsidies were lifted and fuel costs began to oscillate according to global prices.

Petrobras’ financial credibility was restored but diesel consumers - particularly lorry drivers - felt a shock when global oil prices shot up.

Having tried both radical approaches, it is unclear what lies ahead for Petrobras and Brazil now. Mr. Parente’s resignation suggests some form of government intervention in prices will come.

But few investors will be pleased with the idea of purchasing shares of a company that is focussed on tackling inflation and unemployment, rather than just producing oil.

The government steps in

Petrobras chief executive Pedro Parente
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More on the Petrobras news - the three-day strike held by truckers across Brazil has led to the Brazilian government stepping in to lower oil prices.

In a statement, Petrobras said that its other executives would remain, and its board would select an interim chief executive today to replace Pedro Parente (pictured above).

BreakingPetrobras chief executive steps down

Oil workers protesting outside Petrobras in Brazil
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Pedro Parente, the chief executive of Brazilian state oil company Petrobras, has stepped down.

Brazilian oil workers held a three-day strike from Wednesday calling for Mr Parente to resign and for an end to the company's policy of setting prices at free-market rates, which has led to high oil prices this year.

Shares in Petrobras are down 8.4% and still falling following the news.