Petrobras Argentina SA (NYSE:PZE) Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

May 08, 2019 • 10:00 am ET

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Petrobras Argentina SA (NYSE:PZE) Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Petrobras' webcast conference call with analysts and investors concerning its First Quarter 2019 Results. (Operator Instructions)

We'll start by listening to Petrobras' CEO, Mr. Roberto Castello Branco, with the main highlights of the results. Afterwards, the participants' questions will be answered. The presentation will remain available throughout the webcast and on the company's Investor Relations website.

Present with us today are Mr. Roberto Castello Branco, Petrobras' CEO; Mrs. Andrea Almeida, Chief Financial and Investor Relations Officer; Mrs. Anelise Quintao Lara, Chief Refining and Natural Gas Officer; Mr. Carlos Alberto Pereira de Oliveira, Chief Exploration and Production Officer; Mr. Eberaldo de Almeida, Chief Corporate Affairs Executive Officer; Mr. Rafael Mendes Gomes, Chief Governance and Compliance Officer; as well as other company's executives.

Please, Mr. Roberto, go ahead.

Executive
Roberto da Cunha Castello Branco

Good morning for those on the west side of the Atlantic. Good afternoon for those in the east side of the Atlantic, and good night for those in Asia, Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

We are very pleased to present the first quarter 2009 (sic) [2019] performance of Petrobras. It was not a brilliant quarter, of course, but there are very good improvements on the side of debt management, the deleveraging process continued. We lengthened the average maturity of the debt. We've reduced our cash and cash flow abilities in order to improve capital allocation. And I'm going to speak for a few minutes and afterwards, I will leave the stage to Capo, our Chief Exploration and Production Officer, because he has good news for you in terms of production.

Well, on the strategic front, we made several advancements on the execution of our five strategic pillars. In terms of portfolio management, we announced transactions involving USD11.3 billion. Among them, the sale of TAG, the gas pipeline and they saved the closing of the transaction of the Pasadena refinery in Texas. That's very symbolic, very important to us, given that it would present the link to the past -- to track the past of Petrobras.

And in terms of the future, we added several of the assets to our divesture program, and I think that they contribute to the improved capital allocation in order to increase return on capital employed. They'll allow us to deleverage further and to -- in the case of the refineries to correct what we consider an anomaly. The fact that Petrobras, only Petrobras owns 98% of the refining capacity of Brazil. And for sure, it will contribute to increase our return on capital employed to stimulate increase inefficiency in our company.

We are starting a relentless search for lower costs. We are starting by focusing on the low-hanging fruits. There are several of them were already attacked in these first four months of the year. In terms of meritocracy, our Board of Directors approved variable compensation program in order to align the goals of the executives and shareholders to contribute to maximize value creation at the company. We started to work on EVA