By Bruno De Nicola, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – The IBP (Brazilian Institute of Petroleum, Gas and Biofuel) has recently launched an info-site that explains a great number of technical concepts and the oil extraction regulations regarding the pré-sal (pre-salt) area.
The goal is to inform people about Brazil’s richest source of energy and update them about the government’s and state-owned oil company Petrobras’ offshore well regulation policies.
The tutorial site was launched on August 10, at a crucial moment for Brazilian society: President Lula’s team and the press, over the past six months have been predominantly focusing on regulation for oil extraction in the pre-salt area. The discussion has centered around the role that state-owned Petrobras should play, and which oil-exploiting concessions will be granted to foreign companies.
The site concentrates the most relevant general and technical information regarding the subject and displays all pre-salt areas in Brazil. Furthermore, it explains oil extraction regulation models worldwide and offers a very detailed FAQ section.
The pre-salt area covers 112,000 square kilometers off the eastern coast of Brazil. It stretches 800 kilometers, from the state of Santa Catarina to the state of Espirito Santo. Scientists believe the basin extends even further north to the state of Ceará.
A thick salt layer (between 200 and 2,000 meters) favored the transformation of primordial micro-organisms into the world’s richest energy source.
The IBP site was built to be tutorial; its goal is to provide clarity on the pre-salt subject. To encourage the reader’s interest, it contains many videos about pre-salt discoveries in Brazil. To meet the demand for clearer information, it also has an animated clip showing how deep underground drills must go to extract oil from basins in the Brazilian subsoil.
A timeline shows the evolution of pre-salt operations, from the first samples of oil discovered in the BM-S-10 block, in Paraty, in the Santos Basin (2005), to the birth of the interministerial commission for pre-salt regulation planning (July 2008).
The info-site also contains maps showing the exact position of pre-salt blocks in Brazilian waters, along with charts of global oil extraction models and geological details about the Pre-salt and Sub-salt underwater layers of the Gulf of Mexico.
The FAQ section answers many basic questions about pre-salt topics, such as foreign extraction regulation and the possible creation of an independent governmental organization for Pre-salt matters.
Data also reveals that, despite the great amount of oil present in the area, Brazil hasn’t followed a regular extraction schedule for both political and economic reasons. The main deterrent is that a strong input of oil in the international market would cause the US Dollar to drop considerably, creating negative effects on Brazilian exports.