Petrobras should focus on oil exploration and production: incoming CEO

The logo of Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras is pictured at a gas station in Natal, Brazil November 19, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The incoming chief executive of Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA PETR4.SA said in a newspaper interview on Monday that BR Distribuidora BRDT3.SA, its fuel distribution unit, is not a natural fit for the company and does not generate returns.

Roberto Castello Branco told newspaper O Estado de S Paulo that Petrobras, as the company is known, should simply focus in the oil exploration and production business, comments that sent shares in BR Distribuidora up more than 5 percent. Vice president elect Hamilton Mourao said last week the next government wants to privatize the fuel distribution company.

He also said that Petrobras should not be a monopolist in oil refining, and that he would analyze all current asset sales, including that of liquid petroleum gas distribution company Liquigas.

Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter