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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 produced an average of 2.68 million bopd in 2018. With 13.4 billion barrels of proven oil reserves at the end of 2018 – the second-largest oil reserves in South America after Venezuela – the country’s R/P ratio stands at 13.7 years. More than 94% of those oil reserves are located offshore. According to the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels, known as the ANP, the country could bring its oil production to more than 5 million bopd by 2027.

Brazil also produced 25.2 bcm (890 bcf) of gas in 2018. The country’s gas R/P ratio is 15.1 years, based on proven reserves of 400 bcm (14.1 tcf) as of the end of 2018. About 84% of those reserves are located offshore. NOC Petrobras is Brazil’s largest oil and gas producer, though many super-majors and local players are also present in the country’s upstream sector.

Due to Brazil’s large size, the country requires many terminals and an extensive pipeline network to store and transport hydrocarbons products. Transpetro operates more than 14,000 kilometres of pipelines connected to its terminals throughout the country. This networks links the various oil-producing regions, refineries, terminals and distribution points, and is supervised and controlled by the National Centre for Logistics Management. Most of Brazil’s pipelines are found in the southeast and northeast of the country. In 2018, Brazil consumed 35.9 bcm (1.27 tcf) of gas, 10.7 bcm (378 bcf) more than it produced. That gap is closed through piped gas and LNG imports, mainly from neighbouring Bolivia.

Brazil’s refining capacity was 2.29 million bpd at the end of 2018, while refinery throughput averaged 1.73 million bpd that year, representing a capacity utilisation rate of 76.2%. The country is home to 17 refineries, 15 of which are operated by Petrobras. Those facilities represent more than 90% of domestic refining capacity. Because Brazil’s refining network lacks the technology to process heavier crude, the country must engage in crude swaps to acquire lighter oils.

Ethanol and petrol compete in a market where flex-fuel vehicles account for 60% of the domestic vehicle fleet. In recent years, petrol consumption has dropped to around 708,000 bpd, with hydrous ethanol consumption increasing to 308,000 bpd. However, the ethanol industry is struggling because of land and labour cost increases and imposed fuel price controls.

All these developments are covered in The Oil & Gas Year Brazil 2019, published in collaboration with the Rio de Janeiro State Federation of Industries (Firjan) and Brazil’s National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP).

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