Future Petrobras President Says Privatization Is Off The Table

Roberto Castello Branco said that he doesn't plan any significant changes from what the current Petrobras management is doing

Nicola Pamplona
Rio de Janeiro

The future president of Brazilian state oil company Petrobras, Roberto Castello Branco, said that privatization is off the table and that his goal is to reinforce investments on exploring and producing pre-salt oil.

The president-elect Jair Bolsonaro nominated Castello Branco, an economist. He defends keeping the current oil pricing policy, which follows the international markets and reducing Petrobras' footprint in oil refining and distribution.  

Roberto Castello Branco during a seminar organized by Folha to discuss the future of the Amazon region - Reinaldo Canato/Folhapress

However, he said he doesn't see himself making any "spectacular changes" from the current Petrobras management.

Ivan Monteiro, who is currently the oil company's president, is expected to leave his position on January 1st. 

A former director of Brazil's Central Bank and mining company Vale, Castello Branco is also a director and professor of the business school at Fundação Getúlio Vargas and holds a post-doctorate from Chicago University. He was a member of the Petrobras board between 2015 and 2016. He left the board while criticizing the pace of changes in the company, at the time in full post-Operation Carwash chaos. At the time, Castello Branco considered that the internal restructuring and asset sales could have been more substantial.

In July, he wrote an article for Folha defending Petrobras' privatization. Now, he says he has no mandate to consider selling the whole company, only the refinery network.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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