Petrobras Can ‘Easily’ Double Reserves in 5 Years, CEO Says

Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, can “easily” double its 15 billion barrels of proven oil reserves in four to five years, Chief Executive Officer Jose Sergio Gabrielli said.

Petrobras, as the Rio de Janeiro-based company is known, needs $17 billion in financing over a five-year period if oil is at $80 a barrel, Gabrielli said today at an energy event in Rio de Janeiro. Crude oil for April delivery in New York rose as high as $102.67 a barrel early today.

“We have 10 billion to 16 billion barrels already discovered that can become proven reserves when we declare commerciality,” Gabrielli said.

Petrobras, which plans to revise its investment plan this year to include the development of new reserves it bought from the government as part of a $70 billion share sale, aims to produce 2.1 million barrels a day in Brazil in 2011, up from an average of 2 million barrels in 2010, Chief Financial Officer Almir Barbassa said Feb. 25.

Petrobras rose 36 centavos, or 1.8 percent, to 28.49 reais at 9:41 a.m. in Sao Paulo trading.