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RE: Brazil Begins Work on Refinery

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Charles Randall

Here is update on the Brazil Upgrader and it looks like Brazil intends to make the 2010 target startup date on Grassroots Refinery (& Coker) portion of the the proposed PDVSA/Petrobras Upgrading Joint Venture. Half of the heavy oil was always going to come from the Brazil offshore heavy oil fields and the other half was to come from PDVSA Venezuelan Orinoco Basin – Carabobo I field (Upgrader).
PDVSA hasn’t been eliminated – but sounds like the corruption aspects, endless negotiating with government bureaucrats and lack of commitment has definitely taken off some of the appeal for Petrobras. 
Petrobras has a long term series of refining projects to add additional coking capacity to nearly all of the Brazilian refineries and has completed/or is construction on more than half of them <Replan, Refap, & Reduc with Repar, Regar & Relam refineries in late planning/early EPC stages). And with the need for additional diesel/distillate (Brazil is distillate economy – not gasoline economy) and its own offshore heavy oil fields – it appears to have decided not to wait on the PDVSA process to set the pace.
Petrobras also bought the Crown Houston/Pasadena Refinery in the US which it is converting to run the Brazilian offshore heavy oil crude (will need additional coking capacity) as well.
Charlie Randall
Independent Carbon & Coke Consultant

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