May 8, 2008 at 3:01 pm #3641
Petrobras Hiring 14,000 Geologists, Oil Rig Workers (Update1)
2008-05-07 04:10 (New York)
By Joe Carroll
May 7, 2007 (Bloomberg) — Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s state-
controlled oil company, plans to add 14,000 engineers, geologists
and drillers within three years as it develops the biggest crude
discovery in the Western Hemisphere since 1976.
Petrobras, as the company is known, plans to expand its
workforce 23 percent to about 74,000, surpassing Chevron Corp., the
second-largest U.S. oil producer. The hiring binge is part of a
$112.7 billion expansion that may allow Brazil to overtake the
output of all OPEC members except Saudi Arabia.
Petrobras lacks the roughnecks, or rig workers, and other
staff needed to tap billions of barrels that lie in the offshore
oil finds. The company is trying to hire more than a dozen people a
day amid intensifying competition for skilled oil workers after
crude prices surged to a record.
“If some of the hypotheses are true and we have very, very,
very large reserves, then probably we are going to face some
constraints on personnel,” Chief Executive Officer Jose Sergio
Gabrielli said in a May 5 interview in Houston.
Petrobras said this week that it will begin pumping oil by
April 2009 at its Tupi field 250 kilometers (155 miles) off the
Atlantic coast, a year ahead of schedule. The field may hold 8
billion barrels of recoverable oil, Rio de Janeiro-based Petrobras
said in November, the hemisphere’s biggest petroleum find since
Mexico’s Cantarell field was discovered.
Production at the nearby Carioca deposit may begin in four to
five years, Gabrielli said in the interview. A Brazilian regulator
said last month that Carioca may hold 33 billion barrels of crude,
which would make it the largest field outside the Middle East.
Petrobras said it will take at least three months of drilling to
Tupi and seven other fields in the same region of the Atlantic
are central to Gabrielli’s plan to boost production by 79 percent
to the equivalent of 4.2 million barrels of crude a day by 2015.
Output at that level would put Petrobras on par with Irving, Texas-
based Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s biggest energy company.
Petrobras has risen 28 percent in Sao Paulo trading since
announcing the Tupi discovery in November. Over the same period, a
Standard & Poor’s index of major U.S. producers has climbed 7.6
percent. Oil futures reached a record $122.73 a barrel yesterday in
Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Saudi Arabia’s state
oil company also are accelerating hiring as more oil production
moves into deep oceans and harsh environments that require more
advanced technology, said Dan McSpirit, an analyst who covers the
oil industry for BMO Capital Markets in Denver.
“There’s a shortage of good talent,” McSpirit said.
San Ramon, California-based Chevron, one of 13 companies
exploring the Atlantic seabed off Brazil’s coast, employed 65,000
people at the end of 2007. Exxon Mobil had 80,800.
Petrobras intends to recruit all of its new employees from
Brazilian universities and technical schools, said Gabrielli, a 59-
year-old, Boston University-trained economist.
“They probably can,” said Christopher Ross, a vice president
at CRA International Inc. who advised Venezuela in the 1990s on
opening that country’s oil sector to foreign companies. “Brazil’s
a large country with a very good educational system, and Petrobras
has a very positive image at home which allows them to attract the
best and the brightest.”
Petrobras is the company of choice for Brazilian university
graduates because it offers training and “lifetime careers,” said
Guilherme Estrella, who heads the company’s exploration and
production business. “That’s our tradition at Petrobras, so we
have a very good image,” he told reporters yesterday at an
industry conference in Houston.
U.S. and European oil companies are having a tougher time
recruiting graduates because the industry’s image has been
tarnished in the past 20 years, said Ross, co-author of Terra
Incognita: A Navigation Aid for Energy Leaders (PennWell Books,
“There’s more work to do than people to do it right now,”
Ross said. “All of the scientific disciplines are coveted and the
companies are competing aggressively with each other to fill
Petrobras isn’t recruiting any of the 18,000 employees
fired by Venezuela’s state oil company during a 2002-2003 strike
against the government, Estrella said. Petroleos de Venezuela SA,
the biggest oil exporter in the Americas, dismissed more than half
of its scientists, managers and laborers after a failed strike
aimed at toppling President Hugo Chavez crippled output.
“It’s not because we don’t want the foreigners,” CEO
Gabrielli said yesterday at the conference. “It’s just that we
have Brazilians ready and capable to do the work.”
–With reporting by Steven Bodzin in Caracas. Editors: Tony Cox,
To contact the reporters on this story:
Joe Carroll in Houston at +1-713-353-4872 or
May 8, 2008 at 3:08 pm #6868
Here is Update Petrobras Upstream expanding capabilities to match new fields. Might be work potential for Companies with Brazil presence – especially if Brazilian workers to lead efforts?
Also ties recent news (see Valero Krotz Refinery sale comments) that Petrobras will purchase Valero Aruba after May 9 board approval. And of Petrobras plans to “Sync” Pasadena with Aruba (aka lacks FCC) – which makes no sense to me since Pasadena only has complexity of 8.4 not much above Arubas 8.
And if some Petrobras offshore heavy crude finally gets into Pasadena – both FCC & Coker are too small. Pasadena has to get project on both units for purchase Pasadena make sense – especially with this crude news focus. Also Aruba has put in at least FCC or sell gasoil to market (PDVSA sold several gasoil cargoes to US Gulf 2007 when PRC units were down so intermediate market would purchase it over crude since it is likely priced off products price instead of crude price delta).
If Petrobras buys Aruba – I’d look for either Pemex to lose 100 MBD Maya sales & be replaced by Petrobras heavy crude finds or to replace Aruba’s other half crude supply (or both?) and that would definitely require more FCC capacity than Pasadena would have.
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