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Montevideo, May 28th 2023 - 23:09 UTC



New Petrobras CEO greenlighted pending objections

Tuesday, June 28th 2022 - 09:19 UTC
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Paes' education and expertise are not exactly related to the energy sector, his opponents argue Paes' education and expertise are not exactly related to the energy sector, his opponents argue

Caio Mário Paes de Andrade has been approved Monday as the new CEO of Brazil's state-run oil company to replace José Mauro Coelho, who lasted merely 68 days on the job.

“You can be sure, today Caio is taking office there at Petrobras, we will also have a new dynamic at Petrobras on the issue of fuels in Brazil. And everything will be analyzed in conformity, based on the law, without wanting to interfere in anything, but with a lot of respect, with a lot of responsibility, making sure that Brazil is really leveraged,” President Jair Bolsonaro said.

The head of state also mentioned the new CEO had already been sworn in, but a Petrobras press release pointed out the exact date is yet to be announced as minority shareholders still try to block Andrade's inauguration, following a complaint filed by The National Association of Petrochemical Minority Shareholders of Petrobras (Anapetro) before the Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM).

In the meantime, the company also announced Monday that it would seek to sell three refineries: Abreu e Lima (Rnest), in Pernambuco, and Presidente Getúlio Vargas (Repar), in Paraná, and Alberto Pasqualini (Refap), in Rio Grande do Sul. It will be a new attempt after no bidders were found the last time around, as the company moves on with its divestment plan which represents around 50% of the national refining capacity, or 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd).

Coelho resigned from his job on June 20 after pressure from the Bolsonaro government after increases in the price of fuel at pumps.

Regarding Paes' appointment, the National Association of Petroleum Tankers Minority Shareholders of Petrobras (Anapetro) argues that he “does not have notorious knowledge in the area, besides being graduated in social communication, without experience in the oil and energy sector.”

Paes de Andrade has been serving as Secretary of Debureaucratization within the Economy Ministry. He has a degree in social communication from Universidade Paulista, a post-graduate degree in administration and management from Harvard University, and a master's degree in business administration from Duke University, in the United States. He has also been director-president of the Federal Data Processing Service (Serpro), the public information technology company in charge of screening emergency aid registrations, among other tasks.

Meanwhile, former Petrobras CEO Roberto Castello Branco has reportedly acknowledged in a private conversation with former Banco do Brasil CEO Rubem Novaes that he had messages on his corporate cell phone that could incriminate Bolsonaro, although he failed to mention what exactly the head of state's wrongdoings would be.

Castello Branco also pointed out that every time a crisis means losses worth billions of dollars for the Petrobras shareholders, “the media insistently invite me to give my opinion” and “when I speak, I try to avoid attacks,” meaning he had not harmed Bolsonaro although he very well could.

Novaes argued that those statements were made in the context of a conversation between friends. Castello Branco insisted his words were made in a private group whose content was then leaked.

Castello Branco too was fired from Petrobras due to Bolsonaro's dissatisfaction with the company's pricing policy, as were Joaquim Silva e Luna and also Coelho.

Categories: Energy & Oil, Politics, Brazil.

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