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U.S. Exporters to Benefit from a $2 Billion Ex-Im Bank Preliminary Committment to Brazil's Petrobras

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 6, 2009

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Linda Formella (202) 565-3200

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Small and large U.S. companies may benefit from a nonbinding preliminary commitment of $2 billion in financing from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) to encourage purchases of U.S. goods and services by Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras), Brazil's national oil company. Pending a final approval, the financing is anticipated to support more than $2.2 billion of U.S. exports to Petrobras.

Ex-Im Bank anticipates that this preliminary commitment will give Petrobras the opportunity to identify potential U.S. exporters for its projects over the next two years. Upon conversion of the preliminary commitment to a final commitment, the financing could be used to support U.S. exports on repayment terms of up to 10 years, including a potential conversion of part of the financing to establish a medium-term (one to seven years) credit guarantee facility.

Petrobras may use U.S. goods and services financed under an Ex-Im Bank final commitment to develop its offshore oil and gas reserves, particularly the large pre-salt reserves in the Santos Basin, and also to develop and upgrade its refining and distribution infrastructure. Petrobras anticipates that it will invest $174 billion in development over the next five years.

Petrobras presents an enormous opportunity for U.S. exporters in the oil and gas industries and many other sectors. With this preliminary commitment, Ex-Im Bank is actively encouraging Petrobras to consider extensive sourcing of equipment, services and supplies from the United States for its offshore development and infrastructure expansion, said Ex-Im Bank Structured Finance Vice President Barbara O'Boyle.

U.S. companies of all sizes that are interested in exploring export opportunities to Petrobras may contact Philip Limón, treasurer, Petrobras America Inc. in Houston, Texas, (713-808-2160; plimon@petrobras-usa.com) to learn more about the company's bidding process and how to participate in transactions that could be financially assisted by Ex-Im Bank.

Founded in 1953, Petrobras is the primary oil company operating in Brazil and is one of the world's largest oil producers. Petrobras holds the second largest reserves in South America, with proven oil reserves totaling 12.5 billion barrels and proven natural gas reserves totaling 14.8 trillion cubic feet. Petrobras is a fully integrated oil and natural gas services company and operates in all parts of the production chain from exploration and development to production, refining, transportation, distribution and marketing.

Ex-Im Bank offered the $2 billion preliminary commitment to Petrobras as part of its proactive outreach. A preliminary commitment is issued by Ex-Im Bank to demonstrate that the Bank is interested in providing financing for the types of transactions indicated. Final approval follows receipt of a final commitment application, review by Ex-Im Bank staff and final action by the Bank's board of directors.

In fiscal year 2008, Ex-Im Bank authorized a total of $14.4 billion in financing to support an estimated $19.6 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. The Bank authorized financing to support $1.5 billion of U.S. exports for oil and gas production projects.

Ex-Im Bank is the official export-credit agency of the United States. The independent, self-sustaining federal agency, now in its 75th year, helps to create and maintain U.S. jobs by financing the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export-credit insurance and direct loans. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.