Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro complained that Bolivia's state-owned oil company Yacimientos Petróliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) funneled 30% of the gas that was to be sold to Brazil and sent it to Argentina as a part of an “orchestrated plan” against him and added Petrobras was behind it.
Although he never mentioned any specific name, Bolsonaro implied the goal was to benefit opposition candidate Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva after the State-run Petrobras maneuver would force Brazilian consumers to pay a higher price for cooking gas to be imported from elsewhere.
It was in that scenario that the CEO of Petrobras was replaced. (Read also: https://en.mercopress.com/2022/05/24/brazil-sacks-petrobras-ceo-yet-again )
The Brazilian leader made those remarks Monday evening while addressing a group of followers.
Bolivia cut 30% of the gas for us to deliver it to Argentina. How did Petrobras react to this issue? The gas, if we have to buy it from somewhere else, is 5 times more expensive. Who will pay the bill and who will be held responsible? It is a business that seems orchestrated to exactly benefit you know whom, Bolsonaro said.
Lula is ahead in all polls to win the October 2 elections, probably without a runoff.
Since he took office in 2019, Bolsonaro has applied an international parity price policy with which the value of hydrocarbons in the domestic market is adjusted to the international cost, which has placed the price of gasoline and diesel at about US$1.70 per liter.
In this scenario, Bolsonaro sacked Petrobras CEO José Mauro Ferreira Coelho and appointed Caio Mário Paes de Andrade instead, pending approval from the Board of Directors, where private shareholders of Petrobras are also represented.
Several geopolitical factors known to all result in impacts not only on the price of naphtha and diesel but on all energy components, explained the Ministry of Mines and Energy in the statement announcing Ferreira Coelho's resignation.
Thus, in order to maintain the necessary conditions for the growth of employment and income of Brazilians, it is necessary to strengthen the investment capacity of the private sector as a whole, it added.
Paes de Andrade's appointment must be approved by Petrobras' board of directors, which the government controls as the company's majority shareholder.
The President also changed the Minister of Mines and Energy two weeks ago and appointed ultra-liberal and die-hard Bolsonarist Adolfo Sachsida.