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LatinNews Daily - 17 May 2021

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In brief: New Petrobras leadership reports results in Brazil

* Joaquim Silva e Luna, the new CEO of Brazil’s state-owned oil firm Petrobras, has announced that under his leadership, the company will stand by the 2021-2025 strategic plan unveiled under his predecessor last year, which includes a programme of divestments, the plan to begin operation on 13 rigs in six different oil fields, and the objective of investing US$55bn over the next five years. Silva e Luna, who was sworn in as Petrobras CEO on 20 April, made his comments in a video addressed to investors on the same day that Petrobras unveiled its first quarter earnings. Despite production falling in Q1 2021, Petrobras posted a net profit of R$1.2bn (US$228m), a positive result which the company attributes to the higher price of Brent crude and lower operating costs. In the press conference reporting Q1 earnings, Fernando Borges, the company’s new executive director for exploration and production, also spoke of Petrobras’ plans to move forward with drilling in the Foz do Amazonas basin off the coast of northern Brazil. Petrobras now owns 100% of the operating stake in the Foz do Amazonas blocks, after French firm Total pulled out last year and Petrobras assumed British firm BP’s stakes earlier in April. Despite controversy and environmental concerns surrounding the Foz do Amazonas exploration project, Borges was confident that Petrobras would be awarded the necessary environmental licenses by 2022.