Meanwhile, changes in management team of oil behemoth are also in standstill
Fuel prices prompted change in the command of Petrobras — Foto: Leo Pinheiro/Valor
The double-digit gap between diesel prices in Brazil and abroad means that Petrobras could immediately raise costs to refineries, sources told Valor. The company, however, continues to analyze the market situation before deciding.
Consultants’ calculations indicate that the price of diesel that Petrobras charges from distributors is between 15% and 17.5% below international parity. In the case of gasoline, there are estimates that the price the state-owned charges from distributors in Brazil is 45% below the price negotiated in the Gulf of Mexico, one of the world’s main refining centers.
Meanwhile, the management changes intended by the government in the state-owned company, as part of President Jair Bolsonaro’s strategy to try and control fuel prices, continue to face difficulties.
On Wednesday, there was a meeting of the board of Petrobras. The company’s strategic planning was on the agenda, but the discussion turned to the state-owned company’s Eligibility Committee (Celeg), linked to the Personnel Committee (COPE). Celeg/COPE verifies if candidates for the board meet the necessary requirements and have no restrictions to run for the position, according to the internal rules of the company and the State-Owned Companies Law.
In a statement released on Thursday, Petrobras confirmed that the collegiate debated the day before a request made by the federal government, the company’s controlling shareholder, to replace the current CEO, José Mauro Coelho, by Caio Paes de Andrade, who is associated with Economy Minister Paulo Guedes. But there was no decision concerning this issue. A person familiar with the company said that “the analysis [of Mr. Paes de Andrade by Celeg] has not been made yet because the information is not ready.”
Mr. Paes de Andrade was nominated on May 23, through a letter from the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), which requested a shareholders’ meeting to elect him as a board member — the first step for him to become the company’s CEO to replace José Mauro Coelho. On May 25, the Petrobras collegiate met and concluded that it needed to wait until the federal government sent the list of eight candidates (including Mr. Paes de Andrade) to the Petrobras board, which has not yet happened.
Mr. Coelho, the current CEO of Petrobras, was elected in the shareholders’ meeting in April by an unbundled vote, and once he is removed all other members of the collegiate elected by the same system must go through a new election. Eight of the 11 members of the Petrobras board were elected by this method, which allows votes to be concentrated on certain candidates. These are the eight positions expected to be disputed once again in the meeting, which has not set a date so far.
This list seems to have become a point of conflict between independent advisors and the government. Celeg/COPE, after having received Mr. Paes de Andrade’s documents, is still waiting for the list of the other government candidates. The government, in turn, is trying to bring forward the result of the Eligibility Committee’s analysis to know if Mr. Paes de Andrade will be approved by the company’s governance bodies. The situation has become a kind of chess game, in which each party waits for the opponent’s move to define its own move. Meanwhile, almost nothing is happening.
*Gabriela Ruddy, Francisco Góes — Rio de Janeiro
Source: Valor International