(Rio de Janeiro, February 03, 2006). PETRÓLEO BRASILEIRO S/A - PETROBRAS, [Bovespa: PETR3/PETR4, NYSE: PBR/PBRA, Latibex: XPBR/XPBRA], a Brazilian international energy company, announces that its Board of Directors has approved a Share Purchase and Sale Agreement with Astra Oil Trading NV, to acquire 50% of ownership in the Passadena Refinery System Inc. - PRSI, formerly the Crown Refinery, in Passadena Texas and will disburse around US$ 370 million. The initial business plan calls for joint operation, trading and commercial management of PRSI.
The PRSI refinery has a capacity of 100,000 bbl/d and is currently being upgraded to meet new EPA Clean Air Standards for gasoline.
With the Petrobras step in, the refinery will be upgraded to handle around 70,000 bbl/d of heavy oil and feedstock, including Petrobras's Marlim production. The upgraded refinery will be ready in four years. After the revamp project all products will match USA highest standards.
This acquisition is in line with the objectives established in the Strategic Plan for the consolidation of Petrobras as an integrated energy company with a strong international presence, of expanding refining and commercialization activities (domestically and abroad) in conjunction with market growth and adding value to Petrobras raw materials (heavy oil ), focusing on the mix of higher-value products and better quality, using its technical expertise for converting light sweet crude refineries to process heavy feed stocks.