SAO PAULO (Reuters) – The leading leftist candidate in Brazil’s presidential race, Ciro Gomes, would end the refining monopoly of state oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, a senior Gomes adviser told Reuters.
The plan laid out by Nelson Marconi, policy director for the Gomes campaign, breaks with longstanding Brazilian industrial policy and could face blowback from powerful unions at Petrobras, as the company is known.
Refineries - Competition - Marconi - Tuesday - Interview
“Regarding refineries, we absolutely want to increase competition,” Marconi said late on Tuesday in an interview at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, where he teaches economics.
“For the love of God, refining does not need to be a Petrobras monopoly,” he said, adding that the state-controlled company could sell some refining assets and others could be encouraged to invest in new plants.
Comments - May - Trucker - Strike - Fuel
His comments underscore how a May trucker strike over fuel prices, which paralyzed much of Brazil’s economy and forced the government to slash diesel taxes, has sparked bold proposals for Petrobras ahead of the October election.
A law making Petrobras Brazil’s sole petroleum refiner was struck down in 1997 after more than four decades. But its de facto monopoly went unchallenged until April, when Petrobras laid out plans to sell stakes in some refineries, drawing an outcry from unions and many politicians on the left.
Marconi - Gomes - Governor - Ceará - State
Marconi said Gomes, a fiery center-left former governor of Ceará state, still demands the reversal of recent auctions granting offshore exploration and production rights to global oil majors, who would be compensated for canceled contracts.
Gomes has said President Michel Temer, who took office in 2016 after the impeachment of leftist President Dilma Rousseff, lacked the legitimacy to rewrite the rules of those auctions, which drew billions of dollars from Exxon Mobil Corp, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc and others.
Proposals - Gomes - Camp - Mark - Return
The economic proposals of the Gomes camp mark a return in...
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