By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The increase in competition in the oil sector will benefit Brazilian consumers, said the new president of Petrobras, Roberto Castello Branco, on Thursday (January 3rd), after taking office.

Brazil,Petrobras' new CEO, Roberto Castello Branco, said in his first speech as Petrobras president that the oil giant must practice market prices.
Petrobras’ new CEO, Roberto Castello Branco, said in his first speech as Petrobras president that the oil giant must practice market prices, photo by Fernando Frazaão/Agencia Brasil.

“The greater the competition, the more benefits for the consumer. If we have a single producer, it will not be good for the consumer, “said Castelo Branco.

According to the official the old strategy of keeping fuel prices artificially low is over. “Petrobras will follow the international parity price, without subsidies and without exploitation of a monopoly,” added Castelo Branco.

The statements issued by the new Mines and Energy Minister, Bento Albuquerque, were also in line with Castelo Branco’s discourse.

“There is no intention of the government to influence pricing policy. When we give transparency to this process, we can make some corrections, eliminate subsidies and make clear what is fair to be paid for the fuel,” said the minister, after attending the inauguration ceremony of Petrobras’ CEO.

Bento Albuquerque also noted that subsidies for diesel will no longer be given. The measure was adopted by the previous government to meet the demands of the truckers who went on strike in May of 2018, causing chaos to the country’s transportation and supply network.

“This [subsidy] ended on December 31st. It’s not a matter of subsidizing diesel, it’s a matter of letting the market set prices. This cannot be done with just fuel. Prices have to take into account the freight and other conditions,” concluded the minister.

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