Brazil names new energy minister

By an OGJ correspondent

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec.23 -- Brazil's President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Friday named Dilma Rousseff, a former energy secretary of southern Rio Grande do Sul state and a member of his Workers' Party (PT), as the new mines and energy minister.

Lula and his cabinet will be sworn in Jan.1. Rousseff, an economist, said she is against privatizing state-owned electricity companies.

She was praised by electric power executives for investments she directed in Rio Grande do Sul state, which avoided a blackout during government rationing of electricity in 2001.

"She has a deep knowledge of the sector and acts as an executive," said Wilson Ferreira Jr. president of Companhia Paulista de Forca e Luz (CPFL), a power distributing company in São Paulo, who previously worked with her in in Rio Grande do Sul state.

"We feel the choice of Rousseff as minister was correct, and we are optimistic," said Flavio Neiva, president of the Brazilian association of large electric power generators (Abrage).

However, Wagner Freire, former exploration and production director of Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras), and now CEO and president of the independent Starfish Oil & Gas SA, said, "As usual, when one picks someone from the electricity sector, the chances are that (she) knows little about the oil sector."

Brazil's congress in 1997 passed legislation that ended Petrobras' energy monopoly and brought 43 international oil companies into Brazil. Petrobras continues as a state-owned company; the government has 33% of equity bonds but controls a majority of votes on the board of directors.

"Formally, whoever represents the government as the controller shareholder normally is someone appointed by the finance minister. But as far as the day-to-day business, it is the minister of mines and energy that takes care of Petrobras," said Freire.

Rousseff said she would consider the federal tax on fuel as a cushion against fluctuations in the price of international crude.

But if that practice is generalized, the whole effort to open up the market will be lost, said other officials. The more sensitive item is liquid petroleum gas (LPG), whose abnormal consumption in Brazil is the result of subsidies during the 44 years of Petrobras' monopoly, Freire said.

He said he doubts Lula will establish price controls over oil products. "The new minister has to follow the law and theoretically cannot interfere in the deregulation process. But a provisional measure can be issued (subject to congressional approval)," Freire said. That "is highly unlikely to happen, particularly because the PT does not have a majority in Congress."

Related Articles

Victoria extends drilling, fracing ban

01/30/2015 The new Victorian Labor government of premier Daniel Andrews has extended the coal seam gas (CSG) exploration and hydraulic fracturing ban in the s...

US Senate passes bill approving Keystone XL pipeline project

01/30/2015 The US Senate has passed a bill approving construction of the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline by a 62-36 vote after 3 weeks of debate. Nine...

Pennsylvania governor reinstates state forest drilling moratorium

01/29/2015 Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed an executive order fully reinstating a 2010 moratorium on new oil and gas leases in state forests and parks. ...

DOE could meet 45-day LNG export decision deadline, Senate panel told

01/29/2015 The US Department of Energy would have no trouble meeting a 45-day deadline to reach a national interest determination for proposed LNG export faci...

Harvest drops Venezuelan arbitration move

01/29/2015 Affiliates of Harvest Natural Resources Inc. have withdrawn a request for international arbitration alleging the government of Venezuela hampered e...

API forms Colorado Petroleum Council, picks executive director

01/29/2015 The American Petroleum Institute has opened a Denver office that will focus on oil and gas priorities in Colorado. Tracee Bentley, who previously w...

US House approves bill aimed at increasing LNG exports

01/28/2015 The US House of Representatives passed a bill aimed at increasing US LNG exports by requiring the Department of Energy to determine whether a proje...

PHMSA outlines community steps to reduce pipeline incident risks

01/27/2015 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration released a guide to best practices for communities to reduce risks from pipeline inci...

DOI’s 2017-22 draft proposed OCS program includes Mid-Atlantic sale

01/27/2015 The US Department of the Interior released a draft proposed 2017-22 Outer Continental Shelf management program that included 14 potential oil and g...
White Papers

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...

Accurate Thermo-Fluid Simulation in Real Time Environments

The crux of any task undertaken in System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis is striking a balance between ti...

6 ways for Energy, Chemical and Oil and Gas Companies to Avert the Impending Workforce Crisis

As many as half of the skilled workers in energy, chemical and oil & gas industries are quickly he...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

On Demand

Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


US Midstream at a Crossroads

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

register:WEBCAST


The Future of US Refining

Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

register:WEBCAST


Oil & Gas Journal’s Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015

Fri, Jan 30, 2015

The  Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015 Webcast will address Oil & Gas Journal’s outlooks for the oil market and pipeline construction in a year of turbulence. Based on two annual special reports, the webcast will be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and OGJ Managing Editor-Technology Chris Smith.
The Forecast & Review portion of the webcast will identify forces underlying the collapse in crude oil prices and assess prospects for changes essential to recovery—all in the context of geopolitical pressures buffeting the market.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected