In our energy-starved world, this troubling fact speaks volumes; I want companies growing production and growing reserves. Petrobras is by far the most aggressive energy conglomerate in the world. According to
, the company has locked up leases for 80% of the ultra-deepwater drilling rigs in its attempt to become a dominant exporter of crude over the next decade. And with oil trading in the $130s, so far, Petrobras has been dead right.
Finally, I must describe what really stood out to me -- the typical and average Brazilian gas station. The country has demonstrated on a large scale that it is possible to build a build a top-notch energy distribution infrastructure with many types of fuel and still prosper.
After the 1970s oil crisis, the Brazilian government adopted a policy to stop their dependence on foreign energy. In a single generation, government-initiated policy ended domestic dependence on imported oil, as it instituted programs mandating the adoption of a multifaceted energy distribution system.
In my recent time in Brazil, I badgered friends and most taxi drivers about the type of fuel they were using to power their cars. There are four major choices for fuel -- natural gas, ethanol (sugarcane-based, not our illogical corn-based), gasoline and diesel.
More important, all these types of fuels were readily accessible. The infrastructure is exactly the same as our gas stations here, except that they have a variety of fuels to choose from. At minimum, most cars have at least two options for fueling their driving (most taxis used three -- natural gas, ethanol and gasoline).
It was quite amazing -- pull into a gas station and fill up on natural gas, ethanol, gasoline or diesel. I don't understand why we can't do the same here; natural gas is cheap, clean and abundant in our country. It just takes a little bit of forward thinking by our leaders.
, I will explain what I view as the next growth catalyst to the Brazil story. I think most of Wall Street is missing the angle on this budding nation, and there is still enormous upside and opportunity.
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