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Brazil's Energy Industry


in figures

Oil reserves11.9 billion barrels

Oil production2.99 million bopd

Gas reserves300 bcm

Gas production24.3 bcm

Brazil: A Model for Offshore Development

Brazil’s oil and gas industry has grown significantly due to the country’s massive hydrocarbons potential. The nation has the second-largest reserves in South America after Venezuela, with more than 95% of its oil and gas offshore. The nation boasts the largest recoverable ultra-deep oil reserves in the world, with the International Energy Agency forecasting that 50% of the world’s offshore oil could come from Brazil in 2040.

The industry is overseen by the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels, known as ANP, which hands out exploration and production licences and ensures compliance with state regulations. Hydrocarbons are produced predominantly by Brazilian NOC Petrobras. The company held a monopoly on the industry for around 40 years until the market opened up in 1997. Since then, the sector has attracted super-majors such as Shell, BP, Chevron and Exxomobil and local independents.

A rise in production from the prolific Santos and Campos basins has also played a part in attracting IOCs to Brazil’s downstream sector. To attract FDI and participation in the market, Petrobras recently began selling off a predominant part of its refining capacity. While Petrobras remains the largest player in the local downstream sector, it has been joined by international players Repsol, Shell and Chevron.

Due to the country’s large size, a vast pipeline infrastructure is necessary to link the various oil-producing regions, refineries, terminals and distribution points. Most of the country’s pipelines are located in the southeast and northeast of the country. The nation’s midstream sector is supervised and controlled by the National Centre for Logistics Management.

While still one of the world’s largest oil and gas producers, Brazil’s renewable energy sector has seen titanic growth and accounts for around 80% of the country’s energy mix, predominantly through its hydropower stations and biofuels and waste facilities. Brazil is the third largest hydroelectricity producer after China and Canada. The government is looking to grow the mix of solar and wind facilities to meet its large potential and avoid losses caused by droughts.

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