According to Guilherme Estrella, the dividend is “quite extraordinary and disproportionately larger than the dividend payouts made by all the major oil companies in the world.”
Sputnik Brazil – Geologist Guilherme Estrella, former director of exploration and production at Petrobras and one of those responsible for the discovery of pre-salt oil wells, has asked the Federal Court of Auditors (TCU) to block the payment of R$21.99 billion of the company’s dividends to shareholders.
As reported by O Globo newspaper, the application was initially denied by Minister Augusto Nardis, who requested information from the company and later withdrew from the court. Estrella is now asking TCU President Bruno Dantas to take action.
According to the geologist, Petrobras’ dividend payout is “completely extraordinary and disproportionately larger than the dividend payouts made by all the major oil companies in the world, whether state-owned or entirely private.”
“This distribution of dividends is neither in the interest of the company (even if it is a wholly private company) nor is it in the public interest that inspired its creation. It is a real abuse of the power of control which, in this case, as well as to satisfy the private shareholders, ended up without any Question “.
In a live presentation in May 2022, Senator Jean-Paul Pratis (PT-RN), who has been nominated by President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) to head Petrobras, defended that the company pays a lower dividend. The parliamentarian wants the company to invest the resources before transferring them directly to the shareholders.
“The dividend that Petrobras management is promoting in 2021 and 2022 is unsustainable,” said Felipe Campos Capi Coutinho, vice president of the Petrobras Engineers Association (Aepet), in an interview with Sputnik Brasil in November.
The engineer pointed out that it was possible thanks to “low investments, insufficient levels to maintain oil reserves and production, profitable and strategic asset sales, in addition to temporarily high oil prices.”
In 2022, the Petrobras Board of Directors has approved the distribution of a cash dividend of R$43.7 billion to shareholders, to be paid in two installments: one in December and one in January 2023.
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