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MarketWatch: Shell and Petrobras Are Latin America’s Most Sustainable and Ethical Oil Companies

Latin American-based Oil Companies Invest Hundreds of Millions to Deliver Clean Performances
Last Update: 3:00 PM ET Oct 6, 2006

MIAMI and MADRID, Oct 06, 2006 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Among the big Latin American oil/gas companies, Shell and Petrobras are the most effective at sustainability, social, ethical and governance programs, according to a study by Management & Excellence and LatinFinance.

    The Biggest and Best Six in Latin America

    1) Shell: 90.26%
    2) Petrobras: 79.94%
    3) Repsol: 79.08%
    4) Chevron: 77.08%
    5) Pemex: 53.58%
    6) Enap: 44.99%

Delivering record financial results in 2004 and 2005, Latin America’s oil companies have attracted international investors in droves. Last year, Mexico’s Pemex, the world’s 11th largest oil company in terms of reserves, reported record revenues of $86.1 billion.

On the other hand, the big players are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in sustainability and social projects which are designed to ensure their long-term success and acceptance. In Venezuela, Chevron joined forces with local giant PDVSA, investing $3.6 billion in the Hamaca facility. The investments have paid off in cleaning up oil’s image in Latin America. Twice Chevron received the Orden El Brillante award in Venezuela and last September was awarded additional drilling rights off the coast.

But sustainability investments have gone far beyond construction and modernization. Petrobras has invested over $120 million in social programs over the last two years alone. It spends $12 million on educating largely underprivileged children in Brazil. Shell, which has been in Brazil for over 93 years, helped restore the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. Chile’s state-owned ENAP published its first detailed social responsibility report last year and runs a Casa Abierta program for local communities at one of its main refineries.

Plagued by regular environmental pollution scandals, Latin America’s biggest oil companies are cleaning up their acts and being transparent about good and bad news alike. Pemex reports 399 mostly smaller oil spills for 2005, but reduced its air emissions from 1,000 tons to 700 tons over the last four years. Spain’s Repsol experienced over 1,300 spills last year while investing over $400 million in environmental projects.

Petrobras does best among the purely Latin American companies in corporate governance, doing justice to its large international investor pool. The company is one of very few Latin companies to maintain a Board nomination committee.
The study is the first on the most sustainable and socially responsible oil/gas companies in Latin America, scoring the companies according to their compliance with nearly 300 international and national sustainability, social, ethics, governance and transparency standards.

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SOURCE LatinFinance
LatinFinance, U.S., +1-305-357-4209, or Europe, +011-34-915-902-950, or [email protected] Copyright (C) 2006

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