Gradually, Petrobras says goodbye to Bahia. After placing the state refinery (RLAM) in its disinvestment program, the state-owned company recently announced the sale of 28 land fields in the state. The issue is that many advocates of the sale of RLAM claim that the process will bring benefits to both Petrobras and consumers, generating a more dynamic and competitive market, but this is not what some studies point out.
Several studies indicate that, according to the structural conditions of supply in Brazil, there will be no increased competition with the transfer of Petrobras assets to private companies. In addition, the study promoted by the Department of Industrial Engineering (DEI) of PUC-RJ considers that there is a high prospect of forming a private monopoly in the region where RLAM operates.
The Institute for Strategic Studies of Oil, Natural Gas and Biofuels (Ineep) also points to another limiter for increased competition in the refining market, which would be the very differentiated profile among Petrobras refineries. In 2019, Lubnor's production focused on asphalt (45%). Rlam's production was divided into diesel oil (35%) and fuel oil. Rnest's production, in turn, focused on diesel oil (66%) and naphtha (15%). In addition, there are derivatives only produced by Rlam, such as gasoline. That is, each Petrobras refinery has a different production mix of derivatives, which would prevent competition between them.
Another point questioned was that, in the case of the sale of land assets, medium and small companies would leverage the investments of these areas. Petrobras, also, to corroborate the argument, claimed that in the American market, 25% of production is in the hands of these companies, while in Brazil only 5%. However, there is a significant difference in the market conditions of the two countries, both in historical, structural and logistical aspects.