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SITUATION REPORTApr 29, 2019 | 19:01 GMT
Brazil: Petrobras Looking to Sell 8 Refineries in Brazil
Brazilian state-owned energy company Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) is planning to sell eight refineries with 1.1 million barrels per day of installed refining capacity, or around 51 percent of the company's total domestic refining capacity, Argus Media reported April 29.
AssessmentsDec 26, 2018 | 07:30 GMT
Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Defense Minister General Joaquim Silva e Luna attend the launch ceremony of the Brazilian Riachuelo Class Submarine at a navy base in Itaguai city, Rio de Janeiro state, on Dec. 14, 2018.
2018: The Year Bolsonaro Captured Brazil's Presidency
The first day of 2019 will bring a titanic change to Brazilian politics as Jair Bolsonaro, a former military officer and political outsider, assumes the presidency. Bolsonaro cruised to victory in October elections, as many Brazilians responded favorably to his campaign promises to get tough on crime and corruption. At the same time, his victory has struck fear into many in the country due to his praise of the military dictatorship in the 1960s and 1970s, his rhetoric toward the LGBT community, his suggestion that leftist rivals can either "go overseas or go to jail" and his priority for agricultural production over environmental protection. As Brazil embarks upon an era like no other, we look back at some of the major milestones from Bolsonaro's path to the presidency, as well as his plans for the country.
AssessmentsOct 26, 2018 | 06:15 GMT
A picture showing Brazilians rallying against far-right populist presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro in Sao Paulo on Oct. 20.
In Brazil, Any Anti-Corruption Mandate Will Meet Political Obstacles
Brazil's right-wing presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro appears ready to ride an anti-corruption wave into power. Bolsonaro came only four points short of winning the presidency outright on Oct. 7. He now faces leftist Workers' Party candidate Fernando Haddad, who received 29 percent of the first-round vote, in an Oct. 28 runoff. Polling shows Bolsonaro comfortably ahead. A scandal at Brazil's state oil company Petrobras in 2014 swept aside many potential candidates who otherwise would have posed a significant challenge to Bolsonaro, and his populist promises to be tougher on corruption than his Workers' Party predecessors have been are resonating with voters, despite the relatively vague anti-corruption platform he has put forward.
AssessmentsOct 19, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks to reporters in Mexico City on July 5, 2018, to announce that his pick for foreign minister is former Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard.
Mexico's President-Elect Continues to Refine His Energy Policies
There are just about six weeks to go until Mexico's new leader takes office, yet policy in one area that has attracted some of the hottest speculation, energy, remains very much a work in progress. Leftist President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador -- popularly known by the nickname AMLO -- rode a wave of public discontent with the incumbent administration and corruption to the presidency. On the campaign trail, however, Lopez Obrador also directed his ire at another bugbear: the country's 2013 energy reform. And now that Lopez Obrador is about to assume power, it's becoming clear that his administration is exploring options to craft an energy policy distinct from that of his predecessor, Enrique Pena Nieto. Although the incoming administration has leaked numerous potential policy choices to the press, just a few plausible options are emerging -- in part because the country's economic and fiscal realities have narrowed Lopez Obrador's
AssessmentsOct 3, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
A Workers' Party supporter holds a mask with the face of Brazilian presidential candidate Fernando Haddad on it during a campaign rally in Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, on Sept. 21 ahead of the Oct. 7 national election.
Brazil's Presidential Candidates Duel in an Election Like No Other
Brazilians will head to the polls on Oct. 7 for an election that hasn't been this open since the country's return to democracy in 1989. Polling suggests the far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro will advance to a second round to face leftist candidate Fernando Haddad. Victory in the elections, however, is likely to bring the winner more challenges than relief, as Brazil's divided Congress may not only stall the next president's vision for the country, it may even endanger his or her seat.
AssessmentsAug 23, 2018 | 10:00 GMT
Specialists monitor dials in the control room of the Angra 1 nuclear plant in Angra dos Reis in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state on April 12, 2011.
Brazil Considers the Nuclear Option
For four years, a corruption scandal has kept Brazil down for the count on some of its biggest projects, including a third nuclear energy plant. Now, however, things appear set to change as the country emerges from the corruption probe and stalled construction work resumes on nuclear facilities -- particularly the third nuclear plant. Boasting the world's sixth-largest uranium reserves, Brazil is also eager to attract investments to its uranium-mining industry. In all, Brazil hopes to meet the demand for nuclear plants, construct a multipurpose nuclear reactor and further harness atomic energy for medicine and agriculture. But in turning its face once more to nuclear power, Brazil could also leave the door open to the production of nuclear weapons –- a development that could elicit far more pushback at home and abroad.
AssessmentsJun 15, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
A lithium ion battery is on display at a technology trade show in the united states.
Why Cashing in on Lithium in South America Won't Be Easy
South America is home to a veritable goldmine. The mountainous border region shared by Argentina, Bolivia and Chile -- dubbed the South American lithium triangle -- holds some of the world's largest reserves of lithium, making it poised to rise in importance as the demand for the globe's "new oil" increases in the years to come. However, a host of political and regulatory risks, as well as logistical impediments, will hamper the development of lithium in the area, meaning the only country to fully benefit from the riches that lie beneath could be Chile.
AssessmentsJun 7, 2018 | 04:00 GMT
A demonstrator holding a "Free Lula" sign shows his support for former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during a May 30, 2018, protest in Sao Paulo. Da Silva was imprisoned in April on a corruption conviction.
Brazil Loses Its Appetite for Economic Reforms
Brazilian President Michel Temer was already deeply unpopular on the street, but now it seems even his congressional support for reforms is vanishing. Rising global oil prices and resultant fuel price increases have created social upheaval across Brazil in the last two weeks as strikes by truck drivers and oil workers have cornered the government ahead of general elections in October, exposing the discontent with the government's economic liberalization measures. With problems on the street and on the campaign trail, the pace of economic liberalization in Brazil might soon slow to a crawl as Temer's erstwhile backers in Congress spend more time considering the upcoming polls than fulfilling the president's agenda.
AssessmentsApr 25, 2018 | 18:10 GMT
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, shown here after a mass held in memory of his late wife Marisa Leticia on April 7, 2018, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
In Brazil, Difficult Negotiations Await the Next President
The world's fifth largest country is set to head to the ballot box later this year for elections unlike any other. After more than two decades of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party and the Workers' Party largely alternating being in power, Brazil's presidential elections in October appear certain to catapult an outsider into power after a monumental corruption probe brought the country's traditional political parties to their knees. Parties that otherwise wield little power in the National Congress are racing to nominate their own candidates for the country's top job. But given the fractured nature of Brazil's Congress, winning the polls might prove to be a lot easier than actually governing the country.
AssessmentsFeb 14, 2018 | 15:28 GMT
The Brazilian economy is back in the black and may be headed to an even greater economic recovery this year.
Brazil's Industrial Heavyweights Are Stepping Back Into the Ring
It's been a tough couple of years for Brazil's "national champions." Implicated in a far-reaching corruption probe in 2014 that centered on Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras), the giants of Brazilian industry faced the full force of the law over illicit activities at home and abroad. But fast-forward to 2018, and the country's champions appear to be back on their feet. Brazil's economy exited a recession last year, and the country is likely to grow by even more this year. And now with major companies signing leniency deals with Brasilia and restructuring their businesses, large corporations may soon regain some of the clout they enjoyed beyond the country's borders.
AssessmentsFeb 2, 2018 | 00:14 GMT
Major international oil companies know that the next Mexican president will be limited in any energy reform rollback.
Big Oil Sees Untapped Potential in Mexico
Despite the looming possibility of a populist presidential candidate winning the high office in Mexico, "Big Oil" is betting on the longevity of energy reform in the country. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who currently leads the presidential election polls, is promising to reverse aspects of the country's energy reforms. But from the perspective of the major international oil companies, a Lopez Obrador presidency would be little more than than a six-year nuisance, because he lacks the ability to rewrite the legal fundamentals in a way to last beyond his term.
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