Petrobras Explores Reentry into Venezuela, Inspired by Chevron’s Return

Petrobras is studying how Chevron got back into Venezuela to see if it makes sense for the company to do the same, according to the CEO Jean Paul Prates

Jean Paul Prates, chief executive officer of Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras), speaks during an interview at the company headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Thursday, March 23, 2023. Photographer: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg
By Mariana Durão
October 03, 2023 | 11:41 AM

Bloomberg — Petrobras is studying how Chevron managed to resume operations in Venezuela to see if it makes sense for Brazil’s state-controlled oil company to reenter the oil-rich nation, Chief Executive Officer Jean Paul Prates said.

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It makes “geopolitical sense” for Petrobras to look at expanding into Venezuela and Bolivia because they are neighboring countries with vast potential for oil and gas, Prates said in a televised interview late Monday. Prates said he sees potential for natural gas in Bolivia even though output there has been declining.

Prates cautioned that Venezuela’s oil industry has suffered from “extreme decadence,” adding that Petrobras won’t “carry Venezuela on its back.”

Petrobras has had difficulties discovering new oil fields in Brazil in recent years and is looking abroad to develop new projects. Oil production in Brazil is expected to start declining at the end of the decade unless new discoveries are made.


Prates also mentioned countries in the South Atlantic, including Suriname and Namibia, as potential locations for offshore oil and gas investments. Prates cited China as a major partner for both oil projects and the energy transition. He expects Petrobras to team up with Chinese companies to develop offshore wind and green hydrogen projects in Brazil.

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