CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Shell's Brazil strategy factors in Petrobras scandal -CEO
(In 3rd paragraph of April 23 item, corrects to say Shell is set to become 2nd largest oil producer, and that BG purchase agreement is not yet completed)
By Anthony Boadle
BRASILIA, April 23 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell Plc has taken into account the risks presented by the Petrobras graft scandal to its expanding operations in Brazil and is confident the Brazilian state-run oil company will emerge stronger, Shell's CEO said on Thursday.
Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said oil production from Brazil's offshore subsalt region will remain profitable, and predicted that oil prices will rise from the low levels of the past six months.
Van Beurden briefed Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff for 1-1/2 hours on Thursday on his company's operations in Brazil, where Shell is set to become the second-largest oil producer following its April 8 agreement to purchase rival BG Group .
The acquisition increases Shell's role in Brazil, where it had been the No. 3 producer, giving it a financial stake in giant new offshore fields operated by Brazil's troubled state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras.
In January, BG's 140,562 barrels a day of oil and gas output (boepd) in Brazil was nearly four times greater than Shell's 49,014 boepd.
While Shell will have to take a backseat to Petrobras on operational decisions, it is believed to have the money and technology needed to push Petrobras-led projects forward.
Petrobras took a $17 billion charge on Wednesday to account for the costs of a political kickback scandal that forced it to cut investment, and paralyzed its contracts with engineering firms under investigation for bribery. Continuación...