Despite increased volatility in oil prices due to escalating violence in the Middle East and North Africa, Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, said it has no plans to alter the prices it charges for oil and oil-related products on the domestic market. Brazil's government typically urges the company against raising prices in an effort to curb inflation.
Petrobras (PBR) President Jose Sergio Gabrielli said in an interview with Dow Jones that the company usually does not like to raise prices during periods of high volatility. Gabrielli added that, in his view, the current nuclear energy crisis in Japan ''will have no direct impact on oil prices,'' Dow Jones reported.
President Obama was in Brazil this weekend, meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to discuss trade between the two countries and Obama said he would like the U.S. to become a major buyer of Brazilian oil going forward. Gabrielli noted the U.S. is already the company's top customer and that the U.S. becoming a partner in Brazilian oil development is something worth examining.
Brazilian energy executives, including Gabrielli, are concerned about the tariffs the U.S. levies against Brazil's ethanol imports and have said they would like to see President Obama be more aggressive in doing away with those trade barriers, Dow Jones reported.