Brazil’s Oil Euphoria Hits Harsh Reality

From Yakima Herald

By Juan Forero

When fields said to hold billions of barrels of oil were discovered off the coast here, exuberant government officials said the deep-sea prize would turn Brazil into a major energy player.

Six years later, the outlook for Brazil’s oil industry, much like the Brazilian economy itself, is more sobering. Oil production is stagnant, the state-controlled oil company, Petrobras, is hobbled by debt and foreign oil companies are wary of investing here.

“It’s funny, a few years ago, everybody loved Brazil,” said Roger Tissot, a veteran consultant on Latin America energy. “And now it seems the love is gone.”

Brazil once saw itself as an up-and-coming oil power that would help meet the world’s demand, but it now faces a hard reality and might have to scale back its pretensions, former energy officials, oil executives and advisers say.

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