WPC: PDVSA confirms entry into Brazil's fuels market

Petroleos de Venezuela SA has confirmed its decision to enter Brazil's lubricants and fuels market under the PDV brand name, marking the start of the sale of PDV products at service stations.

Sep 2nd, 2002

By an OGJ correspondent

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 2 -- Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) has confirmed its decision to enter Brazil's lubricants and fuels market under the PDV brand name, marking the start of the sale of PDV products at service stations in that country.

Alì Rodrìguez Araque, PDVSA's president, made the announcement today at a press conference of the 17th World Petroleum Congress in Rio de Janeiro. PDVSA signaled its intent to enter Brazil's retail fuels and lubricants market last month (OGJ Online, Aug. 2, 2002).

Araque rebuffed a question about whether it was wise to engage in this new venture in Brazil, a country rocked by financial turmoil and whose currency value has plummeted against the US dollar.

Rodrìguez, who was serving as secretary-general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries until Venezuela's political turmoil put him at the helm of that country's state oil firm earlier this year, said that "Latin America and Brazil, as its largest country, is a very attractive and growing market."

However, he declined to say how much PDVSA will invest in Brazil.

Bob Clingan, CEO of Citgo International Latin America, PDVSA's subsidiary for marketing PDV products in Latin America and the Caribbean, said, "Our medium-term plan for fuels is to identify the PDV service stations we will be opening at the end of 2002 in northern and northeastern Brazil with our corporate flag."

Clingan added that the subsidiary's focus for lubricants will be southeastern Brazil.

PDVSA released a statement saying that PDV and Citgo products are sold in 18 countries, in addition to Brazil, and that last year sales of both brands increased on average by 30%.

Separately, Sebastiao de Rego Barros, director-general of Brazil's National Petroleum Agency, told OGJ that "PDVSA was granted the right to distribute oil products in Brazil but has not asked permission to import them yet."

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