Regulatory News

Statements from President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and some of his other principal assistants on the way Brazil will explore large reserves in pre-salt layers increased speculations as to whether the federal government is open to creating a new government-run company specifically for these regions. The objective is that with the discoveries, collections to the government substantially increase. The idea became the main subject among the country’s political and economic groups. The definition, however, is going before an inter-ministerial committee.

The committee includes ministers from the Chief of Staff (Dilma Rousseff), Mines and Energy (Edison Lobão), Planning (Paulo Bernardo), Finance (Guido Mantega, and Development (Miguel Jorge); and the presidents of Petrobras (José Sérgio Gabrielli), National Oil Regulatory Agency (Haroldo Lima), and the National Bank of Economic and Social Development (Luciano Coutinho).

By order of President Lula, group discussion content cannot be revealed. But there is information that there are several differences of opinion. Lula repeated several times throughout the week that mega-fields are government assets, of the 190 million Brazilians, not of Petrobras. He defended the application of resources from the pre-salt layers to education.

Dilma Rousseff and Edison Lobão showed they were favorable to the creation of a new government-owned company. The proposal, however, runs into a problem with the possibility of Petrobras shareholders filing a judicial action alleging the company spent millions in research in discovering these reserves and it is an acquired right to explore these blocks. Another proposal being supported in the committee – including Petrobras and other private companies in the sector - is an increase from 40% to 80% in special participation paid by the concessionaires to the government for highly productive fields.

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