(South America & US) - Petrobras will pay $370 million for a 50% stake in a Pasadena, Texas refinery as part of its plan to expand into the US.
It will buy the stake from Astra Oil Trading NV, a division of Belgium's Transcor International NV.
The refinery can process 100,000 bbl of petroleum products daily and is being upgraded to handle more, Petrobras says in a statement.
Within four years, the refinery will have the capacity to process about 70,000 b/d of heavy crude oil, some of which could come from a Petrobras field off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.
"This acquisition is in line with Petrobras's strategic plan that aims at consolidating the company as an integrated energy firm with a strong international presence, expanding its refining and sales activities, both at home and abroad," Petrobras says.
Petrobras expects to become a net oil exporter this year for the first time as domestic production surges.
The company says it will produce an average of 1.91 MMb/d of oil a day in 2006, up from an average of 1.68 MMb/d 2005.
Brazil's domestic oil consumption is estimated at 1.85 MMb/d.
Petrobras plans to produce 100,000 boe in the GoM starting in 2010.
The company plans to spend $8 billion over the next five years to upgrade its refinery facilities and improve the quality of its petroleum derivatives for export to the US.