Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras's Argentine unit Petrobras Energía SA plans to invest more than two billion dollars over the next five years in Argentina and start this year exploring oil on Argentina's territorial sea, Petrobras Energía new Director General Carlos Fontes said.
"We will continue consolidating Petrobras presence in Argentina because the company has come to stay and to contribute to the economic and social development of the country, with the due respect for its cultural identity" Fontes is quoted in Buenos Aires press reports. Petrobras in 2002 bought Perez Companc, Argentina's largest private oil company, and has invested more than 900 million dollars not only in existing operations in Argentina but also in new projects such as the expansion of its gas stations network and the launching in the Argentine market of it Podium gas brand, the first 100-octane brand. Petrobras sources were quoted as saying that the company has already consolidated as one of the leaders in the Argentine market and ranks among those with the best image. Fontes, who took office on January 1, said that his management will seek to pursue the goals of his predecessor Alberto Guimaraes, who has been appointed head of Petrobras' US unit Petrobras America Inc. Petrobras last year took the first steps together with Argentina's state-run Enarsa oil company for the offshore exploration in Argentina's territorial sea. Petrobras is a world leader in offshore exploration, something that has allowed Brazil to attain self-sufficiency in oil supplies. Petrobras sources were quoted as saying that the company has already consolidated as one of the leaders in the Argentine market and ranks among those with the best image. The Brazilian company last week entered the select group of world companies with a market value over 100 billion dollars. Guillermo Háskel ÃÂ¢€" MercoPress ÃÂ¢€" Buenos Aires