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* Funds to pay short-term debts, finance investment
* China has become one of Petrobras' biggest buyers
RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Brazilian state oil company Petrobras (PETR4.SA) plans to raise between $15 billion and $16 billion in 2011, Finance Director Almir Barbassa said on Monday, without specifying where the funds would come from.
"We have not issued any bonds this year, it's all funds from banks and development and export agencies," Barbassa told reporters after an event with finance executives.
Funds would be directed to pay short-term debts and to finance the company's investment plan. But Barbassa said Petrobras' cash and operational income are enough to fund investments of around $45 billion planned for 2011.
In November, Petrobras CEO Jose Sergio Gabrielli said the company planned to raise $32 billion in debt by 2014. Two-thirds would come from commercial and investment banks and sovereign wealth funds. [ID:nN09282840]
Barbassa also said China has become one of Petrobras' largest oil buyers, acquiring around 200,000 barrels per day.
"The volume of exports to China has risen. Their demand is growing, and Brazil has become a very important supplier," Barbassa said.
In September, Petrobras successfully pulled off the world's biggest share offer to date, raising $70 billion to develop huge deep-water subsalt oil discoveries, which the government hopes will fund the make-over of Brazil into a developed nation.
Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by Inae Riveras;editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid