Brazil's Petrobras to invest $102 billion in next five years

Brazil's Petrobras will invest around $102 billion within the 2024-2028 period, the firm's new strategic plan showed on Thursday, representing a major boost in expected investments by the state-run oil company.

The plan, the first released by the oil giant since CEO Jean Paul Prates took the helm of the company, includes investments in a range of different segments, with most of it going into oil exploration and production.

The figure represents a 31% leap from the $78 billion Petrobras had announced in its previous plan for the 2023-2027 period.

"We increased Petrobras' total investments responsibly, focusing on capital discipline and commitment to keeping debt under control," said Prates in a statement.

Petrobras attributed the hike mainly to new ventures - including potential acquisitions - and reincorporating assets which the previous administration had put up for sale, as well as the cost of inflation, which Petrobras said impacted the entire supply chain.

The boost is also partly due to an additional $11 billion earmarked for projects Petrobras is still analyzing. The firm had not previously disclosed the figure.

Exploration and production will make up 72% of the spending, with production set to increase from 2.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) in 2024 to 3.2 million boed by 2028.

About $7.5 billion is budgeted for exploration, including $3.1 billion for exploration at the Equatorial Margin, which Petrobras considers its most promising new frontier for oil and gas exploration.

The firm will invest $17 billion in refining, transportation and commercialization.

Petrobras said the plan marks its return to the fertilizer sector, resuming operations at one plant and completing construction on a second one.

Low-carbon initiatives also gained a boost, with $11.5 billion flagged, or more than double the amount set aside under the previous plan, said the firm.

The initiatives include decarbonization efforts as well as developments in low-carbon energy, with emphasis on biorefining, wind, solar, carbon capture and storage and hydrogen, said the firm.

Investment in the sector should increase over the years, said Petrobras, with low-carbon initiatives comprising 6% of its spending in 2024 and climbing to 16% by 2028.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had met with Prates several times ahead of the plan's publication, requesting tweaks to boost job creation in the country.

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