Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petrobras said Monday that the failure of negotiations to bring Venezuela on board as a partner in the Abreu e Lima refinery does not close the door to possible cooperation in the future.
"It would be a lack of courtesy on our part not to be ready for an opening in case they appear," Petrobras executive Jose Consenza told a press conference in Rio de Janeiro.
Petrobras said last Friday in a regulatory filing that it had absorbed the company created to manage the refinery into its corporate structure after talks with Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA broke down.
"We had been negotiating with PDVSA for a long time, but at one point the Venezuelan company presented a very different proposal. What was established at the beginning of the negotiations remains valid," Consenza said.
While the refinery is now 100-percent owned by Petrobras, PDVSA can still acquire a stake if it accepts the initial conditions, he said.
Nearly $17 billion has already been invested in building the refinery in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco, which is projected to process 230,000 barrels per day at maximum capacity.
The original plan called for Petrobras to provide 60 percent of the investment, with the rest of the money - and most of the crude oil - coming from PDVSA.
The initiative was launched in 2005 by the then-presidents of Brazil and Venezuela, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the late Hugo Chavez, but the venture ran into trouble after Petrobras deemed the guarantees presented by PDVSA to be insufficient.
Petrobras began building the refinery on its own in 2007 and says it is now 80 percent complete.
The refinery is projected to begin operating in 2014 with an initial of 115,000 barrels per day.
Petrobras decided to assume full control of the project because it could no longer delay a decision on whether the refinery was to process heavy Venezuelan crude or the lighter variety of oil that comes out of Brazilian wells, Consenza said. EFE