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Brazilian President Fires Third Petrobras Leader As Fuel Prices Soar

According to official data, fuel price in Brazil has increased by more than 33% in the past year, bringing annual inflation to more than 12% and hurting the financial situation of Brazilians.

Inflation is a central issue as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is running for re-election in October this year.

Without giving a specific reason for the dismissal of Petrobras President, the representative of the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy thanked Jose Mauro Coelho for his service but said: “Brazil is currently going through a difficult time due to affected by severe fluctuations of hydrocarron in the international market”.

Mr. Coelho was appointed in April, following the term of his predecessor Joaquim Silva e Luna and becoming the third President of the company. Petrobras fired by President Bolsonaro due to soaring fuel prices.

Brazil's President fired the third leader of Petrobras when fuel prices soared - Photo 1.

Mr. Caio Mario Paes de Andrade is proposed to replace Mr. Coelho. (Photo: Câmara dos Deputados)

The Brazilian government has proposed that Mr. Caio Mario Paes de Andrade replace Mr. Coelho. Mr. Andrade is currently the Secretary for Bureaucratic Reduction at the Brazilian Ministry of Economy.

Earlier this May, President Bolsonaro also replaced his longtime Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque, days after Petrobras reported record-high quarterly profits.

Bolsonaro said those profits had reached the point of “extortion”, and called on Mr Albuquerque and Mr Coelho to stop Petrobras from raising fuel prices.

However, Mr. Albuquerque and the Brazilian Ministry of Energy do not have a direct role in Petrobras’ price decisions. The reason is that this company has a pricing policy based on the international oil market.

Ignoring the request of the President of Brazil, Petrobras continued to increase the price of diesel by 8.9% in the following days.

According to a statement by the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy, the proposed new President of Petrobras, Mr. Andrade, graduated from the prestigious Harvard and Duke universities in the US.

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