In September 2010, Petrobras conducted the largest share sale in history, when US$72.8 billion worth of shares of the company were sold onto international investors. Petrobras immediately became the fourth-largest company in the world and the largest company in the Southern Hemisphere measured by market capitalization. While the Brazilian government currently holds onto the majority share (between 57 – 64%) Petrobras remains the largest multinational company in Latin America measured by 2011 revenue producing 2 million barrels of oil equivalent every day.
However this frenzy into deep offshore pre-salt petroleum and new found oil money has not been heralded by all as a success. In addition to the increased pollution as well as the serious environmental and social impacts for continuous exploration, extraction and transport of petroleum and gas, many claim the funds promised for social and education programs have not materialized.
Initially, pledged Petrobras funding had silenced opposition and divided social movements and local communities with occasional small funding streams for leaders and elites. In addition, a massive governmental ‘greenwashing’ project is underway claiming that Petrobras’ operations can be offset or compensated for by funding projects in other areas. Discontent due to historical and current corruption erupted in June 2013 highlighting the injustices of the new Brazilian oil-boom era.