July 2015, Vol. 242, No. 7

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Petrobras Scandal Could Force Dramatic Policy Changes in Brazil

Brazil’s Petrobras is staggering under the weight of its debt, the corruption scandal is not yet over, and it was recently forced to slash spending and dramatically lower its production target for 2020. The Brazilian oil giant is in a dark period, failing to live up to the hype that surrounded its major oil discoveries in the Atlantic Ocean over the past decade. The oil, known as presalt because it is trapped underneath a thick layer of salt in deepwater, is still there. Petrobras has struggled to tap the reserves due to the engineering complexity, as well as ballooning costs and local content requirements. The firm is overstretched, having racked up $132 billion in debt by the end u

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