Mariano Vela, a geologist with 20 years of experience in the oil sector, will oversee Chevron Corp’s operations in Brazil, reported Reuters. According to his Linkedin profile, Vela has been Chevron’s “Global Earth Science Sponsor” since January 2015.
The change comes as major oil companies take advantage of Brazil’s opening offshore oil resources.
Brazil has massive reserves of oil just offshore, which it has recently begun to put up for auction. In June Reuters reported that the Brazilian Congress was considering a bill to open up the Santos basin to oil extraction.
The Organization of Oil Producing Countries predicts that more than 1.3 million barrels of oil will be produced from the Santos basin in 2018.
The bill would promise 5 billion barrels to the state-owned oil company Petrobras. Excess oil beyond that would be auctioned off. The bill would potentially be worth US$ 28 billion for Petrobras.
While President Michel Temer’s government supports the legislation, it is not guaranteed to become law. Joao Vicente de Carvalho Vieira, the secretary of petroleum, natural gas and biofuels at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, said the chances of all sides reaching a deal in 2018 were slim.