Petrobras - Statistics & Facts

Petrobras – short for Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – a Brazilian corporation headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, is one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world and by far the largest in the oil and gas sector in Brazil, in terms of revenue. The corporation was established in 1953 in order to exert government control over oil exploration, production, refining, and distribution in the country. Although the company’s monopoly legally ended in 1997, Petrobras still holds a large share of the national oil and fuel industries.

A giant in exploration and refining

Despite the unprecedented crisis in oil prices resulting from a decrease in global demand amidst the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Petrobras’ crude oil production reached record levels in 2020, nearing 2.3 million barrels per day. In 2021, production remained above 2.2 million daily barrels. The company’s production has been reignited since 2014 with the development of exploration of the pre-salt layer. Pre-salt is a series of geological formations established by the separation of what are currently the American and African continents, and its fuel reserves are normally located in deep-sea areas, under thick layers of salt. Petrobras accounts for more than 90 percent of the crude oil output in Brazil.

The largest contribution to the company’s revenue, however, comes from the refining, transportation, and marketing segment. Despite negotiations to sell some of its assets in progress, as of 2021 Petrobras owned 11 out of the 17 existing oil refineries in Brazil, which correspond to over 80 percent of the national refining capacity. In addition to the two refineries sold in 2021, the company has committed to the sale of another five in the coming years.

Meanwhile, since July 2021, Petrobras no longer operates in the downstream sector. The company's fuel distribution used to be carried out through BR Distribuidora. The former subsidiary officially became a private company in mid-2019, with Petrobras' divestment process reaching completion two years later.

Notes on a scandal

In 2014, Petrobras was involved in what was considered one of the largest scandals in Brazil’s recent history. Under an investigation named “Operation Car Wash”, prominent politicians and businessmen were charged with corruption and money laundering, including involvement in bribes and illegal donations to political parties. These circumstances, combined with the drop in oil prices that same year and the beginning of an economic crisis in Brazil, led the corporation’s revenue and profits to plummet between 2014 and 2015. Nevertheless, Petrobras has been on an overall recovering trend since, despite setbacks caused by political disputes and the coronavirus pandemic. As of March 2022, Petrobras' market capitalization was one of the largest among global oil and gas companies, at roughly 100 billion U.S. dollars.

Interesting statistics

In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 28 most important statistics relating to "Petrobras".


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