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Date: July 2004 - 2009

Deal: According to The New York Times, in July 2004 Petrobras signed a $34 million deal to drill in Iran's portion of the Caspian Sea (The New York Times, July 7, 2004). An industry report stated that "in February 2009, state-controlled Petrobras of Brazil committed to fund development of Iranian oil and gas reserves in the Caspian Sea, spurred on by its recent discovery of oil in the Tusan block" (APS Review Gas Market Trends, April 6, 2009).

However, in July 2009, Reuters reported that "Petrobras International Director Jorge Zelada said in an interview that the offshore Tusan Block in the Gulf that the company won rights to in a 2003 bidding round was geologically unappealing" (Reuters, July 3, 2009). The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirmed that Petrobras returned its Tusan Block concession in 2009, after spending $178 million on the project (GAO Report, March 23, 2010).

Although Petrobras no longer has any investments in Iran, according to Dow Jones, it announced that it plans to maintain an office in Tehran for the "foreseeable future," (Dow Jones Newswires, April 12, 2010).

U.S. Business Ties: According to its company website, Petrobras has operated in the United States since 1987. The company has offices in New York and Houston (Petrobras USA Website, accessed July 14, 2010). Petrobras conducts both upstream and downstream activities in the U.S., operating exploration and drilling projects in the Gulf of Mexico and the Pasadena Refinery System located on the Houston Ship Channel, according to the company website (Petrobras USA Website, accessed July 14, 2010).

According to, Petrobras received government contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense in FY 2008 and 2009 (, accessed July 14, 2010)

Last Updated: August 6, 2014