Venezuela, Brazil ready to build refinery

Peter Howard Wertheim
OGJ Correspondent

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 25 -- A dispute that lasted almost 2 years over a planned $2 billion binational refinery to be built in Brazil by Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) and Petroleos de Venezuela SA seems to be ending.

The project will involve construction of a 200,000 b/d refinery able to process heavy oil from Venezuela's Orinoco belt and Brazil's Campos basin.

PDVSA had been lobbying for the refinery to be built in the northeastern state of Pernambuco in the industrial and port complex in Suape. Petrobras, meanwhile, would like to see construction at Pernambuco, company sources said.

In addition, several Brazilian states are in dispute over investments for the new facility. Suape, however, showed infrastructure and logistical advantages in relation to other competitors, the sources said.

Construction is expected to begin in 8-10 months with completion set for 2008.

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