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Petrobas, Statoil ASA Sign Oil Agreement

October 10, 2003

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) _ Brazil’s Petrobras and Norway’s Statoil ASA signed an agreement Friday to expand cooperation in oil and gas exploration and in other activities, which may include natural gas commercialization in foreign markets.

Statoil wants to make South America’s largest country its most important foreign production area, executives said.

``We want production of 100,000 barrels in Brazil in the long term,″ said Ottar Rekdal, executive vice president of Statoil’s international exploration and production division. ``We can see Brazil developing into one of the most important areas outside of Norway.″

Rekdal said one possibility would be to participate in a new liquefying plant in Rio de Janeiro state to process natural gas from Brazil’s prolific Santos Basin, which would then be exported to the United States.

``We are looking at cooperating with Petrobras in the commercialization of the gas discoveries made in Brazil,″ he said.

He said it was too early to discuss details, including investment figures.

Statoil has a natural gas liquefying plant in northern Norway that it uses to export the product to Spain and the United States.

Rio de Janeiro’s energy secretary, Wagner Victer, said earlier Friday that U.S.-based El Paso Corp. is also interested in the project.

``The idea is to process that gas and export it to the U.S. from our Sepetiba port, which has all the infrastructure already in place for that activity,″ Victer said.

The agreement between Petrobras and Statoil is valid for three months while both companies study proposed projects.

``If the opportunity is right, we are willing to make heavy investments in Brazil,″ Rekdal said.

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