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Petrobras Has High Hopes For Refining, Pre-Salt Discoveries

Brazilian-controlled oil company Petrobras has high hopes for increasing its refining capacity and its Curacao pre-salt discovery, company officials said on Friday.

In a Friday webcast for investors, Petrobras director of industrial processes and products William Franca said that the company has the potential to increase its refining capacity by as much as a half a million barrels daily without greenfield projects.

According to Franca, there are multiple projects currently being reviewed that will increase Petrobras’ distillation capacity—and these projects are expected to be included in the company’s next business plan, which will cover 2024-2028.

In addition to its plans to increase its refining capacity, Petrobras also is hoping to reach commerciality of its Curacao discovery in the near future, according to chief production development officer Carlos Travassos.

The Curacao discovery is located in the Aram block in the Santos basin, according to Upstream. Petrobras is currently drilling an extension well to guard the volume and reservoir characteristics, Upstream said.

Petrobras CEO Jean Paul Prates said in March that the company could be the last man standing when it comes to crude oil production amid the energy transition. “We will get market share,” Prates said at the time, adding that Petrobras “may be the last to produce oil in the world.”

Prates said that despite the energy transition, crude oil production will remain Petrobras’ number-one priority.

Brazil’s crude oil production is set to reach 3.4 million bpd this year, and is set to grow through 2030, but investments will be needed if the country is to keep growing—or even to just maintain those levels.


According to Petrobras’ current plan for years 2023-2027, $7.3 billion will be allocated toward the refining segment, which will include expanding/modernizing the Rnest, Replan, Revap, and RPBC plants.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • One Second on May 13 2023 said:
    Would have been really nice to tell the readers what exactly "pre-salt" means in this context. Is this really common knowledge for anyone not in the oil industry?

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