Obama’s $2 billion to Brazil ends up helping send oil to China
posted at 9:27 am on January 26, 2012 by Bruce McQuain
The U.S. is going to lend billions of dollars to Brazil’s state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to finance exploration of the huge offshore discovery in Brazil’s Tupi oil field in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro. Brazil’s planning minister confirmed that White House National Security Adviser James Jones met this month with Brazilian officials to talk about the loan.
The U.S. Export-Import Bank tells us it has issued a “preliminary commitment” letter to Petrobras in the amount of $2 billion and has discussed with Brazil the possibility of increasing that amount. Ex-I’m Bank says it has not decided whether the money will come in the form of a direct loan or loan guarantees. Either way, this corporate foreign aid may strike some readers as odd, given that the U.S. Treasury seems desperate for cash and Petrobras is one of the largest corporations in the Americas.
“We want to work with you. We want to help with technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely, and, when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers.”
Mr. Obama was saying that while he was drastically slowing down leasing and permitting in the US and whining about “subsides” to US oil corporations. We apparently can subsidize government controlled oil companies in foreign countries, but not here (and I’m not arguing for subsidies here – just pointing out the usual Obama contradiction – kind of like he’s against bailouts, except for Chrysler, GM, Solyndra, etc.)
Well, that little jump-start of ObamaDollars has indeed helped “develop these oil reserves”. And the beneficiary?
Off the coast of Rio de Janeiro — below a mile of water and two miles of shifting rock, sand and salt — is an ultradeep sea of oil that could turn Brazil into the world’s fourth-largest oil producer, behind Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
The country’s state-controlled oil company, Petrobras, expects to pump 4.9 million barrels a day from the country’s oil fields by 2020, with 40 percent of that coming from the seabed. One and a half million barrels will be bound for export markets.
The United States wants it, but China is getting it.
Less than a month after President Obama visited Brazil in March to make a pitch for oil, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was off to Beijing to sign oil contracts with two huge state-owned Chinese companies.
Well done, Mr. Obama.
[HT: Red Country]