BRAZIL: Reappraising Petrobr

News of Argentina's $1 billion worth of development contracts with foreign oil companies (TIME, Aug. 4) last week forced Brazilians to take a hard look at their own government oil monopoly, Petrobras. President Juscelino Kubitschek called the Argentine contracts "fabulous." Then he added pointedly: "Petrobras will be maintained, but any program to increase oil production well be wea received in Brazil."

Petrobrás' shortcomings cannot be hidden. It produces 50,000 bbl. of crude oil a day. must import the other three-fourths of the 200,000 bbl. daily consumption at an annual cost of $250 million—roughly equal to the current year's trade deficit....

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