* Firm betting on big Namibia find
* Stock closed up 10.8 pct on Friday
SAO PAULO May 10 The chief executive and
founder of Brazil's HRT Participações em Petróleo SA
has resigned just as the firm begins drilling off Namibia's
coast in the hope of making a major oil discovery, according to
a securities filing on Friday.
Marcio Mello, a distinguished geologist and one of the
architects behind the subsalt oil finds in Brazil's offshore
Campos Basin, will remain on HRT's board of directors, the
filing said. HRT spokesmen had no further comment his
In an April 22 interview with Reuters, Mello said he was
baffled by investors' readiness to sell the company's shares,
which had lost 90 percent since reaching an all-time high in
The stock closed up 10.8 percent on Friday.
Though he was banking on an area the company has said may
hold about 10 billion barrels of oil, Mello told Reuters last
month that existing natural gas discoveries in Brazil's Amazon
would soon provide steady revenue.
HRT has the backing of international partners such as
Russia's NK Rosneft AO and Portugal's Galp Energia
SGPS SA. Rosneft committed to buying an additional 10
percent of HRT's Amazon unit next year, raising its stake to a
majority 55 percent.
HRT was founded in the aftermath of the official end of
state-run firm Petrobras' oil monopoly in 1997 and
was once the largest oil service company in Brazil before it
became an exploration company.
Mello is the former president of the Latin American section
of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and Latin
America Section and President and founder of the Brazilian
Association of Petroleum Geologists.
His replacement has not been announced.