Brazil and Venezuela looking again at uniting their oil companies

May 10, 1999 02:00 AM

Venezuela and Brazil will revive an old dream of uniting their huge state oil companies to jointly seek new markets, joint ventures and increased sales.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that employees of Venezuela's PDVSA and Brazil's Petrobras are reviewing the project, first suggested in 1995. He said details about the new company, to be called Petroamerica, could be announced within weeks.
"This is not to define details, it's only a strategic intention that could become the axis for the process of integration that is under way," Chavez said. Later he flew to Sao Paulo, Brazil's financial centre, for meetings with business leaders.
Chavez said Mexico and Colombia could be included in the talks about Petroamerica. He said co-operation among Latin American oil producers "will allow us to be the energy epicentre of the region and the world."
At a dinner for Chavez, Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso said the two countries expected that Petroamerica would produce "projects of great impact, that generate jobs and revenue."
Venezuela is a major oil exporter, while Brazil produces about two-thirds of the 1.8 mm bpd it consumes.

The two leaders also discussed an agreement on preferential tariffs between Brazil and the Andean Community nations and electricity, highway and river links on their Amazon jungle border.
In Sao Paulo, Chavez said he backed the trade talks Brazil is holding with the Andean Community, including Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. He said they would serve as a springboard for a future agreement between the Andean Community and the Mercosur trade bloc that groups Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.
A strong Latin American integration advocate, Chavez said: "This integration must go beyond the economic (sphere). There must also be a cultural, social and political integration that one day could lead to the creation of a federation of Latin American and Caribbean nations."
Such a federation would help "combat the perverse effects of globalisation that only takes into account economic matters and ignores education, culture, health, poverty and misery."

Source: AP via Newspage
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