Have you noticed that Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) lad who lives down the street? My goodness, how he's grown lately!

You probably know that the company cranked out a bigger stock offering late last week than any other company has likely thought about. The approximately $70 billion that poured into its coffers from the offering of preferred and common shares catapulted Petrobras into the No. 3 spot among the world's largest publically traded oil companies, behind only ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) and PetroChina (NYSE: PTR). And the way the world is working these days, Petrobras isn't likely to surrender that position soon.

You probably also know -- assuming that you're a Fool who wisely adds energy names to your portfolio every once in a while -- that the Brazilian-based company intends to spend $224 billion during the next five years to crank up its oil and gas production and processing capacity. As such, its new haul will constitute a meaningful contribution toward that move. As of now, its plans call for 53% to go to the production side, while the remaining $105 billion will be used downstream (refining and marketing) and for petrochemical development.

I think it's important to know that the lion's share of the money will be spent in the company's home country, where deepwater discoveries have become virtually the order of the month during the past couple of years. And with a host of new U.S. offshore drilling rules expected any day -- add the words "restrictive" or "expensive," if you'd like -- it appears probable that Brazil's subsalt fields will play a steadily increasing role in the world's deepwater drilling efforts in the years ahead.

From a purely production standpoint, Petrobras, with help from the likes of Shell (NYSE: RDS-A), and Total (NYSE: TOT), both of which also operate off the country's coast, should push Brazil into the top five of oil producing countries. Petrobras reckons production at about 2.7 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) this year. That figure is targeted to climb to about 3.9 million boepd by 2014, and 5.4 million boepd at the start of the next decade.

The past week has been a busy one for Big Oil financing activities. Along with Petrobras's behemoth effort, BP (NYSE: BP) also managed to get investors to swallow $3.5 billion of debt. And while I'm an energy price bull and can think of more big producers that I'd buy than those I'd avoid, Petrobras, with its jingling pockets and ample reserves, clearly merits close attention. I'm also inclined to agree with fellow Fool Toby Shute that investors might be better served following the companies that will supply Petrobras, rather than the giant itself.

Petroleo Brasileiro and Total are a Motley Fool Income Investor choice. The Fool owns shares of ExxonMobil. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies named above. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.