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Loss of permit in Argentina a surprise: Petrobras

Brazil,Business/Economy, Thu, 05 Apr 2012 IANS

Rio de Janeiro, April 5 (IANS/EFE) The decision by Argentina's Neuquen province to cancel a concession granted to Petrobras caught the Brazilian state-controlled oil giant by surprise, CEO Maria das Gracas Foster said in an interview published Wednesday by the O Globo newspaper.


"I was surprised by the news. We were not expecting it. We have very positive relations with Argentina and were evaluating future opportunities for our permanence in the country," the Petrobras CEO told O Globo.


The government of Neuquen province on Tuesday declared drilling permits granted to Petrobras Energia, the Brazilian oil giant's unit in Argentina, and two other firms void.


Petrobras Energia "remains without production or proved reserves, and with insufficient investment" in the Veta Escondida area, the Neuquen Energy Ministry said.


Oil company Argenta Argentina's permit to operate in the Covunco Norte area and the production permit granted to Tecpetrol, a unit of Argentina's Techint, for the Fortin de Piedras area were also taken away, the ministry said in a statement.


The Covunco Norte area "remains without production or reserves, and with unprovable investment", the ministry said.






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