Standing Alone

Standing Alone

Brazil

Lula relishes Petrobras' accomplishments.With the pomp and circumstance typical of an election year, Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva inaugurated state oil company Petrobras' giant P-50 oil platform in April. The platform is one of many endeavors that Petrobras has embarked on during its decade-long journey from a clumsy and inefficient state-owned company to a highly regarded, publicly traded multinational energy firm. And yet, the P-50 is special. As the president smeared his hands in crude extracted with the help of the new platform, he marked the end of Brazil's long-standing dependence on imported oil. As recently as the late-1970s, Brazil imported roughly

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