Petroleo Brasileiro SA, also known as Petrobras, is a Brazil based holding company that engages in the exploration, production, refining, and sale of crude oil and other energy sources. Petrobras operates over 100 production platforms, 16 refineries, 30,000 kilometers of transportation ducts and more than 6,000 gas station in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Portugal, the United States, Peru and Turkey.
While almost all of Petrobras’s barrels of oil and gas reserves come from Brazil, the company has the potential of becoming a major net exporter of oil. In particular, Chinese energy companies and Chinese banks agreed in to finance the development of Petrobras’s offshore oil fields in exchange for guaranteed supplies of oil once the fields developed. However, low oil prices have the potential of reducing Petrobras’s exploration efforts because of the expensive equipment and technology required to develop deepwater oilfields. Despite low gasoline and diesel prices, Petrobras plans to continue expanding its domestic refining and distribution operations.
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Petrobras remains the largest government owned oil company in Brazil, so it faces very little competition on its home turf. It is difficult for competitors to enter the market given the preferential treatment Petrobras has with the Brazilian government. Despite the opening up of the Brazilian oil market, Petrobras has maintained its market share.