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Petrobras CEO expects oil prices to remain high, as oil giant plans major fleet expansion

Petrobras CEO expects oil prices to remain high, as oil giant plans major fleet expansion

The head of Petroleo Brasileiro SA _ Petrobras _ suggested Tuesday that global oil prices are likely to stay high for the time being, and said the Brazilian state-run oil giant plans to significantly expand its fleet of drilling rigs and other vessels in the coming years.
Speaking at a gathering organized by the Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce, Petrobras President and Chief Executive Jose Sergio Gabrielli said the price of oil is being driven by strong global demand and tight supplies.
That situation, he added, is unlikely to change for up to five years, and he predicted prices will likely remain volatile.
"We cannot see why the price of crude would fall," Gabrielli said.
Oil prices rocketed to a record above $139 a barrel late last week, but eased Monday. On Tuesday, light, sweet crude for July delivery rose $2.26 to $136.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gabrielli said Petrobras expects to lease 57 new drilling rigs capable of drilling in water deeper than 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) between next year and 2017.
About half of those rigs are already contracted, while another 28 must still be leased and are expected to start coming online within five years. Gabrielli said the company will require that those 28 be built in Brazil.
"We know this is going to impact the sector worldwide," he said. "We are giving the industry five years to prepare."
Petrobras also plans to lease another 175 vessels, including 44 crude oil carriers and 122 supply ships.
Petrobras shares fell $2.38, or 3.5 percent, to $66.60 in midday trading.


Updated : 2021-03-07 17:38 GMT+08:00