Late on Sunday, the 15th of March 2020, in an interview with CNN Brazil, the Chief Executive of Brazil’s state-backed oil giant Petrobras, Roberto Castello Branco said that the 2020 operating profit of Petroleo Brasileiro SA or Petrobras, 64% owned by the Brazilian Government, would highly unlikely to reach its target amid a multi-year low crude oil price coupled with a price war initiated by Saudi, the world’s largest crude oil exporter in a bid to grab a larger slice of market share following a break down of a three-year long pact of OPEC members alongside Russia-led allies known as OPEC+.
On top of that, having failed to raise the crude oil prices despite a number of steep output cuts which Moscow said had become unfeasible amid a strident rise of US Shale production, UAE had also joined forces with Saudi last week to ramp up productions aimed at grabbing a larger market share by offering steep discounts.
Amid such compounded complexion in the crude oil market, adding that the Brazilian oil mogul might not even be able to reduce its debt this year amid coronavirus-led demand concerns alongside a crude oil price war, Petrobras CEO Castello Branco said in his Sunday’s (March 15th) interview with CNN Brazil, “Petrobras is in good shape financially.
But our results will be hit, it is clear. As an oil company, its profitability is affected by oil prices. We were planning to do this (reduce debt) this year. Let’s see if it will be viable or not. There is a question mark over it. ”