Brazilian energy firm Petrobras doubles down on oil and gas in strategic plan

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazil’s Petrobras has approved a new vision statement making explicit the firm’s focus on oil and gas, the company said on Thursday, formalizing recent statements by executives that have played down the company’s interest in renewables.

In a securities filing, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the state-run firm is formally known, released part of an updated 2020-2024 strategic plan. While light on specifics, the document made clear the firm was laser focused on extracting oil and gas from deepwater fields off Brazil’s coast, while returning as much value as possible to shareholders.

Petrobras’ goal “is to be the best energy company in terms of generating value for shareholders, with a focus on oil and gas and security with respect to people and the environment,” the company said.

Previously the company, Latin America’s largest by many measures, described itself as an “integrated energy company, that is evolving with society, generates significant value and has unique technical capacity.”

Petrobras still plans to carry out research into the long-term viability of wind and solar power in Brazil, the firm said. However, the plan reflects repeated statements by Chief Executive Roberto Castello Branco, who was appointed to the position in January, asserting that the firm has no competitive advantage when it comes to renewables.

He has given short shrift to efforts by other major oil companies to diversify into wind and solar power, calling them marketing ploys.

The last significant wind or solar incentive announced by Petrobras was in September 2018, when the company inked a three-year deal with Norway’s Equinor ASA to jointly seek out offshore wind projects.

Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by David Gregorio