By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazil is the tenth largest producer of energy in the world with more than half (55 percent) of its energy source coming from oil and other liquid fuels and natural gas. In September hundreds of energy experts are expected to gather in Rio de Janeiro to discuss the latest trends and issues for the sector at the 2014 Rio Oil & Gas Expo.
The conference will focus on oil, gas and energy strategies, evaluating short to long-term exploration, development, investment and strategy perspectives now in play and their potential impacts around the world.
“It is a traditional event, dating back to 1982 and the largest in Latin America, attracting great interest from foreign investors and companies,” says Bruno Musso, superintendent of Brazil’s National Petroleum Industry Organization (ONIP).
The main specific topics to be discussed at this year’s conference according to ONIP’s superintendent are likely to be developed and developing technologies, the (October 2013) Libra auction and petroleum and gas in the “pre-salt” layers. The pre-salt layers are oil reserves trapped deep beneath a layer of salt found in the Campos Basin (Rio de Janeiro) and Santos Basin (São Paulo).
According to the United States’ EIA (Energy Information Agency) the waters of Brazil’s Atlantic Coast have become one of the leading areas of interest worldwide for oil and gas exploration. The EIA defines says the world’s largest oil discoveries in recent years have come from Brazil’s offshore, pre-salt basins. “There is actually nothing like it (pre-salt) anywhere in the world right now,” notes Musso.
In October of 2013 Brazil’s ANP (National Petroleum Agency) held its first pre-salt auction for the Libra oil field, located in the Santos Basin. Production rights were awarded to a consortium led by Petrobras, and included France’s Total SA, Anglo-Dutch Shell, and China’s National Petroleum Corp as well as Chinese company CNOOC.
According to ANP infrastructure investments in the Libra pre-salt layer is expected to reach least US$65 billion with 12 to 18 platforms expected to be built, and production to reach up to 1.4 million barrels per day.
For ANP’s General Director Magda Chambriard, however, the opportunities in Brazil go far beyond the sub-salt layers. In a May 2014 conference in Houston Texas, the director said that Brazilians plans to double production and reserves are underway.
According to her in 2013, 100,000 square km were included in the exploratory scenario in 15 basins located in 17 states. She also noted that Brazil’s Northeastern coast shows high promise for oil reserves with five new frontier basins under contract regimes.
ANP reports that proven reserves of Brazilian petroleum total 15.6 billion barrels per day, while reserves of gas total 458 billion of cubic meters. Production of petroleum and NGL (natural gas liquids) total two million barrels per day while natural gas production has reached 77.2 million cubic meters per day.
Around ninety percent of all petroleum and natural gas produced in Brazil comes from oil fields operated by state-owned giant, Petrobras. Close to 92.4 percent of all oil production and a little over 73 percent of all natural gas extracted in Brazil comes from offshore oil fields.
The Rio Oil & Gas 2014 Expo and Conference is happening Monday, September 15th through Thursday, September 18th, generally from 9AM to 8PM. The event is held at Riocentro in Barra da Tijuca, in Zona Oeste (West Zone) of Rio de Janeiro.