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Petrobras Names New International Heads as Africa Expands

Petroleo Brasiliero SA, Latin America’s biggest oil producer by market value, reorganized its international management as the company expands in Africa.

Osmond Coelho was named executive manager for Africa, Eurasia and America, while Luiz Primo was appointed executive manager for Latin America, according to the corporate organization chart on the Rio de Janeiro-based company’s website. Executive managers are the highest ranked officials in the company’s international division and report directly to Chief Executive Officer Maria das Gracas Foster. Marcos Assayag, formerly head of the Cenpes technology center, replaced Coelho as executive manager for rigs and production units in the exploration and production division.

Until Foster took over as CEO in February 2012, Petrobras’s international division was overseen by a director, who responded to the CEO. After taking over, she eliminated the position to personally supervise the international division. Since then the company sold assets or reduced stakes in the Gulf of Mexico, Africa, Peru and Colombia and sought to sell others, including its Argentine unit.

Petrobras is relocating employees from geophysicists to financial administrators to its offices in the Netherlands, where it will handle its African joint venture with Grupo Pactual BTG SA, two people briefed on the plan said in September. The company sold 50 percent of the African operations to BTG in June as it reduces its presence outside Brazil to focus on the development of its domestic offshore reserves.

Petrobras’s press office didn’t immediately respond to e-mailed questions on the management changes.

Coelho took over as executive manager for Africa in November, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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