We want CPI to investigate Petrobras, says Bolsonaro

President says it is inconceivable to have a price readjustment at the same time as the company’s “exorbitant profits”

President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) said this Friday (June 17, 2022) to propose, together with the Speaker of the Chamber, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), the formation of a CPI (Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry) to investigate the president, the directors and the administrative and fiscal councils of Petrobras. He made the statement after the oil company announced a readjustment in the price of fuel.

“I talked to Lira a few minutes ago. He is currently with leaders, and our idea is to propose a CPI to investigate the president, the directors, the administrative and fiscal councils. We want to know if there’s something wrong with their behavior. It is inconceivable to grant adjustments with the fuel up there and the exorbitant profits of Petrobras”, the president said in a radio interview 96 FMfrom Rio Grande do Norte.

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Bolsonaro classified the announcement of an increase in diesel and gasoline made by the state-owned company as treason. “Petrobras’ profit is something that no one can understand. It’s something stupid. It earns 6 times more than the average for oil companies around the world”, said.

“The CPI is the way [para] expose all those who command this irrational process of fuel readjustment in Brazil.”

Petrobras managed to convert 31.6% of its revenues into profits in the 1st quarter of 2022. The Brazilian state-owned company is the 2nd most profitable among large oil companies analyzed by the Power 360. It is second only to the Chinese CNOOC, which recorded 37.7% profit on revenue in the period.

However, Petrobras has the highest profit in the ranking: US$ 8.6 billion or R$ 44.6 billion, registered from January to March. It surpasses major oil companies such as Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, TotalEnergies, Equinor and BP.

‘Boycott’

According to the president, the Petrobras Board of Directors is currently boycotting the attempt by Minister Adolfo Sachsida (Mines and Energy) to change the president and directors of the state-owned company.

“He [Sachsida] has been wanting to change the president and the Council for 30 days. The Council doesn’t meet to give him the go-ahead. In other words, they are boycotting the Minister of Mines and Energy”, Bolsonaro said.

The Chief Executive added: “With the exchange, we can put competent people in there to understand the social purpose of the company and not grant this readjustment that destroys the Brazilian economy”.

According to the president, the creation of a CPI is effective, and changes at the highest level of Petrobras are the most important line of action to contain the rise in fuel prices.

“I understand that, with a CPI investigating the president, his directors and the staff of the councils, we will put an end to this. The most important thing is to change the president and directors of Petrobras. We hope to be able to do that in the next few days.”said Bolsonaro.

Petrobras shares fell by more than 7% this Friday morning (June 17), with investors fearing greater interference from the government and Congress in the state company after the increase in fuel prices. The Ibovespa lost the symbolic range of 100 thousand points on this 6th, also pressured by a negative climate registered in foreign markets since the day before.

About Abhishek Pratap

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