Petrobras Expects Oil Prices To Continue Climbing

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Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil producer, said it expects oil prices to continue rising over the next few years due to escalating unrest in the Middle East. Earlier this week, the company said it boost its $80 a barrel price estimate for oil due to the issues in the Middle East.

Petrobras CFO Almir Barbassa said in an interview with Bloomberg News that oil prices are unlikely to retreat to the levels seen prior to the start of civil unrest in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen last month. On Tuesday, Petrobras CEO Jose Sergio Gabrielli said oil prices are likely to remain above $85 a barrel.

Petrobras (PBR) is expected to revise its five-year business plan soon to reflect its expectations for higher oil prices. Previously, the company said it planned to spend $224 billion from this year through 2014 on exploration and production projects. That exploration budget is by far the largest among the world's major integrated oil companies.

The company's cash holdings rose to $35 billion from $27 billion at the start of the year, Bloomberg reported, quoting Barbassa.