Petrobras boosts 2001-05 spending to meet oil output goal

Petrobras will spend $31.7 billion in 2001-05 instead of the previously announced $31 billion, announced outgoing Pres. Henri Philippe Reichstul. He will step down Dec. 31 rather than Dec. 20 as previously reported.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec. 10 -- Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) will spend $31.7 billion in 2001-05, up from $31 billion previously announced, said outgoing Petrobras Pres. Henri Philippe Reichstul.

The increase is expected to allow the company to reach 2.57 million b/d of production and maintain it until 2005, in part by buying fields in or companies in the Gulf of Mexico, Latin America, or Africa.

The company is also considering asset swaps to meet its goal of producing 300,000 b/d abroad. It will increase investments abroad to $7.3 billion from $5 billion.

Out of the total investments, 77% will be in Brazil and 23% abroad. Petrobras will allocate $15 billion to the upstream sector, $5.9 billion to downstream, and $2.1 billion in energy and gas.

Reichstul will resign Dec. 31, rather than Dec. 20 as previously reported. His successor, Francisco Gros, the National Economic and Social Bank president, plans to "basically follow Reichstul's policies" (OGJ Online, Dec. 5, 2001).

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