Gas discovery in the Santos Basin doesn't alter negotiation with Bolivia, Petrobras inform

04/09/2003 - 22h22

Rio, September 5, 2003 (Agência Brasil - ABr) - Despite the fact that the volume of natural gas discovered in the Santos Basin is much larger than the 70 billion cubic meters that was initially imagined (the volume comes to 419 billion cubic meters), this discovery has nothing to do with the negotiations that Petrobras has been conducting with the Bolivian government to acquire Bolivian gas at a better price and under better conditions. This affirmation was made yesterday (4) by Petrobras's director of Exploration and Production, Guilherme Estrella.

The Financial director of the company, José Sérgio Gabrielle, guaranteed that Petrobras is renegotiating the contracts to receive gas supplied by Bolivia, but that the contracts will be honored. "We shall fulfill the contracts with Bolivia. We are renegotiating the conditions, we have already presented our proposal, and the Bolivian government is studying the matter prior to giving us their response. Another round of negotiations was scheduled for September 11, but it was postponed at Bolivia's request. In our proposal we suggest an extension of the time period and a reduction in costs, among other things."

For the director of Exploration and Production, however, there is no way to ignore the significance of the discoveries, which triple Brazil's reserves, raising them to over 600 billion, and this constitutes a new fact that can't be removed from consideration. "Up to then our reserves were practically limited to Urucu, in the Amazon region, gas that would be difficult to bring to the big centers. Now it's different. The volume in Santos is right in front of the consumer market and, for this very reason, will have a big impact on the consumer market for petroleum derivatives in general in Brazil in the next ten years." (DAS)