Petrobras' Strategic Plan has metrics to increase security and lower leverage

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We have announced our Strategic Plan for 2017-2021 with two main indicators. The reportable accident rate (RAR) - an industry indicator that measures all kinds of accidents and incidents - should be reduced from 2.2 per million man hours in the company's operations in 2015 to 1.4 in two years, then dropping to 1 in 2021. The financial target, meanwhile, determines that the company's net debt be equivalent to 2.5 times its cash generation in 2018. According to the 2015 annual balance sheet, this index reached 5.3 times.
 
The goal of having two priority metrics in our management is to make sure significant progress is made in safety indicators while, at the same time, we speed up the company's financial recovery in the shortest period of time possible.
 
"In the next couple years, we will concentrate on recovering Petrobras' financial strength as an integrated energy company that is focused on oil and gas. In the total five-year horizon this plan encompasses, we propose that the company will have been restructured, that it have unquestionable governance and ethical standards in order to support increased, but realistic production, and that it be able to invest and position itself in the transition process the global energy market is going through," noted company CEO Pedro Parente.
 
Improving accident indicators will demand a change in culture and a focus on safety actions. To achieve this, Petrobras will roll out a new program, dubbed "Commitment to Life," which will include the direct involvement of leaders and will be based on strengthening process security based on risks to ensure company facility and system integrity, as well as on a system of consequences for deviations from standards and integrated actions.
 
One of the main actions aimed to ensure that goals are met will be the adoption of new management tools and of cost management, particularly the Zero Based Budget (ZBB). The company's spending will be reviewed using this tool, maintaining the costs deemed essential for business and avoiding linear cuts that impair operations.
 
Furthermore, performance targets will be broken down to the supervisor level, and monthly review meetings will be held. The estimate in the Strategic Plan is an 18 percent reduction compared to the first estimate for these expenses in the 2017-2021 period. These expenses total $126 billion. The cut adds up to about R$27 billion compared to the initial estimate for 2017-2021. If the comparison is made with the 2015-2019 plan, which was in force, expense reduction adds up to approximately R$16 billion, or 11 percent.
 
In addition, the Plan maintains the intense pace of partnerships and divestitures, which in the next couple of years are hoped to amount to $19.5 billion. This result is expected to be achieved by increasing strategic partnerships in Exploration & Production, Refining, Transportation, Logistics, Distribution, and in Sales. Petrobras will also exit biofuel production, LPG distribution, fertilizer production, and investments in petrochemicals. In the gas segment, the strategy is to adapt the company's stakes and, in the power sector, to reorganize its equity interests.
 
The company is expected to invest $74.1 billion of its own resources between 2017 and 2021. This is a 25 percent decrease compared to the previous plan. The set of investments generated from Petrobras' projects, however, is estimated at $40 billion over the next ten years, showing that despite the lower volume of investments, the company levers significant amounts through its operations.
 
Exploration & Production will absorb most of Petrobras' own investments, concentrating 82 percent of the resources. Refining and Natural Gas will get 17 percent of the total, while other company areas will account for 1 percent. The oil and natural gas liquids production target in Brazil was set at 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2021, considering the entry into operation of 19 production systems in the period ranging from 2010 to 2021.
 
The sustainability of the company's production curve has been guaranteed by the combination of increased improvements in operating performance and the application of new technologies. The average time to build an offshore well in the Santos Basin pre-salt cluster was approximately 152 days in 2010. In 2016, that time had dropped to 54 days, i.e., three times faster than in 2010.
 
Resource savings achieved with advancements such as this assured an average lifting cost of less than $8 per barrel of oil equivalent, well below the industry's average, which hovers around $15/boe. In addition, the high productivity rate of the wells that have already been connected to production systems installed in the pre-salt reaches, for example, 25,000 barrels per day (bpd) per well, much higher than originally expected.
 
For 2017, Petrobras' project portfolio foresees the first oil at the Tartaruga and Mestiça projects, in the post-salt Campos Basin, in addition to at Lula Norte and Lula Sul, in the Santos Basin pre-salt, and at the Libra Extended Well Test (EWT). Operations are scheduled to go on stream in the following year at Berbigão, Lula Extremo Sul, and Búzios 1, 2 and 3, all in the pre-salt cluster.
 
Búzios 5, the Libra and Sépia Pilot - all three in the pre-salt -, and the Marlim Revitalization Project (Module 1), in the Campos Basin post-salt area, are expected to start producing in 2020. Finally, the first oil from the Marlim Revitalization Project (Module 2) and from the integrated Parque das Baleias project - both in the Campos Basin -, in addition to Itapu and Libra 2, are scheduled for 2021.
 
Seeking to ensure the generation of value, which has been set as one of the principles of its operation, Petrobras will follow the strategy to ensure discipline in capital use and return to its shareholders in all projects, with a high level of reliability and predictability. It will also seek to guarantee sustainability in oil and gas production through the incorporation of volumes already discovered, maintaining discipline in the use of capital.
 
On the horizon of the 2017/2021 Strategic Plan, Petrobras will have consolidated its financial recovery, with assured increased production and ability to raise investments. The longer-term future draws a company following on a prudent, sustainable path, guided by business logic and ethics, with a long-term vision in the financial, environmental, and social areas. It will be among the best companies to work for, one where merit is the basis for recognition and development. Petrobras will continue to be the largest integrated energy company in Brazil, producing oil and gas and with increasing participation of alternative energies.


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