(Recasts with more comments)

SAO PAULO Feb 1 Pedro Parente on Tuesday said
he has no timetable to step down as chief executive officer of
Petróleo Brasileiro SA, vowing his commitment to a
long-term turnaround of Brazil’s state-controlled oil company.

Speaking at a seminar sponsored by Credit Suisse Group AG,
Parente said the turnaround he began implementing in May has
already helped the company’s shares generate the highest return
among global oil companies over the past year. There is still
work to do to revamp Petrobras, Parente added.

“I have no timetable to leave the company,” Parente told
investors. “If it were up to me, I would continue to implement
this strategy.”

His remarks helped dispel concerns of an early departure of
an executive investors credit with steps to rid Petrobras of
years of state meddling.

Preferred shares of Petrobras, the company’s most widely
traded class of stocks, gained 1.4 percent to 15.23 reais on the
Sao Paulo exchange.

Under Parente, Petrobras has cut capital spending, sold
assets and stepped away from low-return refining and logistic
projects to cut the company’s debt that currently stands at
about $120 billion. Petrobras has the largest debt burden among
global oil companies.

He listed debt reduction and accident prevention as the
company’s top priorities for this year. Parente listed as risks
for Petrobras’ operations and financial performance the impact
from escalating geopolitical tension in the Middle East,
uncertainty regarding the administration of U.S. President
Donald Trump and the slow economic recovery in Brazil.

(Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Writing by Silvio
Cascione; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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