September 9, 2014
Anthony Boadle – Reuters, 09/08/2014
President Dilma Rousseff sought to shield her re-election bid from a new scandal at state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA by asking prosecutors on Monday for any details involving officials in her government.
Brazilian magazine Veja reported on Saturday that a jailed former executive at Petrobras named Energy Minister Edison Lobao and two dozen other politicians as people who received kickbacks from the company’s contracts.
The scandal threatens to further complicate Rousseff’s chances of winning a second term in October in a tight contest, with polls showing her behind environmentalist Marina Silva in a potential runoff. Rousseff told reporters Lobao had “vehemently” denied the allegations. She asked Brazil’s top prosecutor for details of the plea bargain testimony leaked to Veja to see if any government officials are involved so she can take action.
September 9, 2014
Will Connors, Luciana Magalhaes and Jeffrey Lewis - The Wall Street Journal, 09/07/2014
Leading opposition presidential candidate Marina Silva was forced on Sunday to confront a scandal involving Brazil’s biggest company that already tarnished the country’s president and has added another level of complexity to October presidential elections.
A former executive of state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA PETR4.BR -4.91% alleged that dozens of prominent Brazilian politicians—including Ms. Silva’s former running mate Eduardo Campos —took part in a kickback scheme for Petrobras contracts, according to a story published Saturday by a Brazilian newsweekly.
Ms. Silva, a former environment minister who replaced Mr. Campos as the socialist party candidate after his death last month in a plane crash, currently leads incumbent Dilma Rousseff in the polls and has made clean government one of her main selling points.
September 3, 2014
Jeb Blount – Reuters, 09/02/2014
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has put her government’s oil policies front and center in her re-election campaign.
TV ads show dramatic views of giant, floating oil platforms and new refineries under construction. The message: her leftist government is turning an offshore oil bonanza into schools, hospitals and jobs, propelling Brazil into the ranks of developed nations.
But there’s a problem. Brazil’s oil industry may be large and growing, but little of what Rousseff promised when elected in 2010 – or before then as energy minister or chairwoman of state-run energy giant Petrobras – has come to pass.
August 28, 2014
Nick Cunningham – Oilprice.com, 8/28/2014
Political change could be coming to Brazil. A new Ibope poll in Brazil shows that an unexpected challenger in the 2014 presidential election would defeat incumbent President Dilma Rousseff in a hypothetical run-off.
Rousseff was once thought to be in a strong position for reelection, but Marina Silva, an ardent environmentalist, has vaulted to the front of the pack.
The daughter of a rubber tapper, Silva had humble beginnings. She grew up poor and was illiterate until she was a teenager. But after years of activism in union politics, Silva was eventually elected senator from her home state of Acre.
July 18, 2014
Anthony Boadle and Alonso Soto – Reuters, 7/17/2014
China and Brazil sealed their expanding commercial partnership on Thursday with a $5 billion credit line for Brazilian miner Vale and the purchase of 60 passenger jets from Brazilian planemaker Embraer.
In a raft of energy, finance and industry accords signed before presidents Xi Jinping and Dilma Rousseff, the two nations agreed to join forces to build railways to help Brazil cut its infrastructure deficit and feed China’s appetite for commodities.
Trade between China and Brazil soared to $83.3 billion last year from $3.2 billion in 2002, with iron ore, soy and oil making up the bulk of Brazilian exports, making China the South American nation’s biggest trade partner.
January 7, 2014
Jeff Fick – The Wall Street Journal, 01/06/2014
Brazil’s state-owned energy giant has suffered a series of industrial accidents in recent weeks as it strives to meet the country’s growing fuel needs.
Petróleo Brasileiro’s most recent accident set a fuel refinery ablaze outside Rio de Janeiro on Saturday. No one was injured in that event, but workers have suffered burns and other injuries in incidents at the same refinery and others, union officials say.
Petrobras, as the company is known, has pushed its refineries to their limits, union officials and industry experts say, in an effort to reduce expensive fuel imports that have eroded the company’s profits and Brazil’s trade surplus in recent years.
January 7, 2014
Juan Forero – The Washington Post, 01/06/2014
When fields said to hold billions of barrels of oil were discovered off the coast here, exuberant government officials said the deep-sea prize would turn Brazil into a major energy player.
More than six years later, the outlook for Brazil’s oil industry, much like the Brazilian economy itself, is more sobering. Oil production is stagnant, the state-controlled oil company, Petrobras, is hobbled by debt, and foreign oil companies are wary of investing here.
“It’s funny, a few years ago, everybody loved Brazil,” said Roger Tissot, a longtime consultant on Latin American energy. “And now it seems the love is gone.”