Petróleo Brasileiro S.A., more commonly known by the name Petrobras, is a multinational integrated and diversified energy company headquartered in Brazil. The company was founded in 1953 by the government of Brazil and was a government-run entity for the first portion of its life. The company’s motto at inception was “The Oil Is Ours”, it is headquartered in Rio de Janeiro and is listed on the Forbes Global 500.
Petrobras operated with a legal monopoly in Brazil until 1997. During that time the company’s production ramped from 2,700 barrels per day to about 2.6 million barrels per day in 2022. Along the way the company entered the refining market in 1961, it opened the Cenpes Research Center in 1963 (one of the world’s largest and leading petroleum research centers), it entered the petrochem market in 1968, and then, in 1994, it launched what was the world’s largest offshore drilling and production facility only to have it sink after less than 20 years in service.
Since 1997, when the government granted monopoly was revoked, the company has expanded its operations into other countries and is now functional in 16 nations. Today, Petrobras explores for, produces, and markets crude oil, natural gas, and derivative products worldwide. The company’s operations are worldwide but the bulk of business is in Brazil. At the end of 2021, the company had 8.435 billion barrels of proven reserves of which less than 0.50% were located outside of Brazil.
The government of Brazil retains 64% of the voting rights in Petrobras. The remaining shares are listed on the B3 exchange and are part of the Bovespa index. The stock is also listed on the NYSE as a depository receipt shares and in Madrid. The company operates in 4 primary business segments that are Exploration and Production: Refining, Transportation and Marketing; Gas and Power; and Corporate and Other Businesses.
The Exploration and Production segment explores and develops oil fields, processes, delivers, and trades in crude oil, crude oil products, natural gas, and oil-bearing shale feedstock. The Refining, Transportation, and Marketing segments are the mid and downstream operations including refining, pipelines, and wholesale/retail operations. This segment is also engaged in petrochemical and ethanol production. The Gas and Power segment markets natural gas and electricity. This segment also has interests in petrochemicals. The Corporate and Other Businesses segment is engaged in the production of renewable fuels such as ethanol, biodiesel, and their co-products.
Petrobras environmental record includes aiding a rebound of Humpback whales, supporting and rebuilding forest ecosystems, and advances in green and renewable technology.