Mines and Energy Minister dismisses Petrobras pricing policy change

inflation fuels petrobras
Mines and Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque. Photo: Roque de Sá/SF/CC-BY 4.0

During a public hearing in the Senate on Brazil’s ongoing energy crisis, Mines and Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque noted that the successive rises in fuel prices “will affect the country’s economic activity” but stressed that altering oil major Petrobras’ pricing policy is not the solution.

The massive state-controlled oil firm pegs its prices to international rates, which has seen the cost of fuels shoot up in Brazil with Brent oil rising 60 percent this year alone. Mr. Albuquerque noted that prices are likely to rise even further as the northern hemisphere enters winter.

The Mines and Energy Minister played down the possibility of altering this pricing policy, warning that foreign exporters could be dissuaded from selling to Brazil if the government interferes in Petrobras business.

“We have to give an answer and find solutions, but we can’t just consider [altering the pegged price policy] as that could lead to shortages, which is the worst-case scenario,” he said.