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Brazilian president fires director of state oil company Petrobras

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro fired the director of state oil company Petrobras on Monday. The Ministry of Energy confirmed Monday night that the economist Adriano Pires will succeed the deposed Joaquim Silva e Luna at the head of the largest state oil company in Latin America. The appointment still needs to be confirmed by the company’s board in mid-April.

Pires is the founder of a consulting firm specializing in energy. Previously, he headed the Brazilian Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency.

Former Defense Minister Silva e Luna has been criticized for recently raising fuel prices. In February 2021, he succeeded economist Roberto Castello Branco, who was also fired by Bolsonaro after price increases.

In early March, Petrobras raised the price of gasoline by around 19 percent and diesel by almost 25 percent after world market prices soared due to the war in Ukraine. Bolsonaro had harshly criticized this. The far-right head of state is under pressure due to high inflation seven months before the elections in Brazil.

Petrobras ended 2021 with a record net profit of almost $20 billion.

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