September 30, 2022

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Oil workers say Castillo Branco’s candidacy is favoritism

Published 04/04/2022 13:56 / Updated 04/04/2022 14:02

(Credit: Mauro Pimentel/AFP)

The Unique Federation of Oil Workers (FUP) issued a memo criticizing the appointment of the former head of Petrobras Roberto Castelo Branco for his potential preference to chair the board of directors of 3R Petroleum, a private company in the oil and gas sector. 3R has been trading in Petrobras assets since 2019, When Castelo Branco headed the company.

According to the memo issued by FUP, “the previous relationship with 3R shows a clear conflict of interest and interest on the part of the former CEO of Petrobras, given that Castello Branco was responsible for the release of the sale of state-owned assets.” He goes on to say, “3R Petroleum currently owns 100% of the petrochemical complexes in Aria Branca, Pescada Arabiana, Macau and Buttiguar (Rio Grande do Norte), as well as Fazenda Belém (Ceara), Rio Ventura and Reconcavo (Bahia). In the southeast region, it is also responsible. About 70% of the Peru petrochemical complex, in Espiritu Santo, and 62.5% of the Papa-Terra complex, in the Campos Basin, in Rio de Janeiro”.

For Deyvid Bacelar, general coordinator of the unique union of oil workers, the issue is serious, as negotiations between Petrobras and 3R Petroleum exceeded about 3 billion R$ during the first two years of President Jair Bolsonaro’s government, when Castelo Branco took over the public company.

“At that time, 3R bought a series of columns in mature oil fields from Petrobras at a competitive price. And the prices were below market value, according to assessments made not only by the company itself, but also by professionals in the region. At least it is strange that The former president of Petrobas, who participated in these negotiations, representing the state-owned company, headed the board of directors of 3R Petroleum, ”explained the coordinator.

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According to him, FUP will file a complaint with the Public Prosecution so that the case can be investigated. “There are strong indications of improvement, use of the space where Castelo Branco was previously, and basically, privileged information. Hopefully, this investigation will reach what we suspected,” Basilar said.


Conflicts

The memo from the oil workers also denounces that if Castillo Branco takes over the presidency, he will not be the first former company director to win a position at 3R Petroleum, since Hugo Repsold Jr., former CEO of Production Development and Technology Petrobras, since March 2021, as corporate director, gas and energy at The same company.

In addition to Castello Branco and Hugo Repsold Jr. At 3R Petroleum, other former directors of Petrobras and the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) also exchanged their public positions for positions in private companies in the same sector. This is the case of Desio Odun, former director of the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) – Between December 2016 and March 2020 – And from Anelise Lara, former director of refining and natural gas at Petrobras (Between January 2019 and March 2021).

Desio is currently the CEO of Enauta, an oil and gas exploration and production company with a presence in four regions of Brazil, while Anelise is a member of Ipiranga’s advisory board. The two companies negotiated with Petrobras during the time Oddone and Lara held positions in the state company.