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By Amy Skalmusky, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO – The tragic British Petroleum (BP) oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, which claimed eleven lives and unleashed 5,000,000 barrels of crude into the ocean in April of last year, shook oil producing countries out of their relative tranquility and exposed the risks and challenges of increased oil exploration in deep water.

The Next Generation Oil & Gas Latin America Summit 2011 brings together leaders from the oil and gas industry, photo courtesy of Next Generation Oil & Gas Latin America.
The Next Generation Oil & Gas Latin America Summit 2011 brings together leaders from the oil and gas industry, photo courtesy of NG Oil & Gas.

“The BP accident has tarred the entire industry and even if it was a one-in-a-million-type accident, the industry will need to consider the balance between risk and riches,” said Julian Lee, Senior Energy Analyst at the London-based Centre for Global Energy Studies.

The Next Generation Oil & Gas Latin America Summit 2011, happening in Rio de Janeiro February 1st through 3rd , will explore the major challenges raised by the spill and the future consequences on the oil and gas industry worldwide.

Hosted last year in Panama, the summit’s current venue was a timely choice. Brazil has been establishing itself at the forefront of deep-water oil exploration, and continual news of record discoveries in the pre-salt region, all eyes are on the country to set the standard for drilling safety in ultra-deep waters.

Brazil faces even greater deep-water technical challenges than those in the Gulf. Its pre-salt basin is much deeper than BP’s Deepwater Horizon well. The fields, about 280 miles off the southeastern coast of Brazil, are also farther from shore.

Though recently the media darling, Brazil is no rookie to deep-water drilling or its dangers. Incidents including the shocking 2001 sinking of the P-36, the world’s largest oil platform, in the Roncador Field of the Campos Basin, have already led Petrobras to improve safety procedures.

The Next Generation Oil & Gas Latin America Summit 2011 will highlight keynote speakers from the Offshore Industry, photo courtesy of Next Generation Oil & Gas Latin America.
The Next Generation Oil & Gas Latin America Summit 2011 will highlight keynote speakers from the Offshore Industry, photo courtesy of NG Oil & Gas.

Brazilian regulations are also viewed as tougher than in the U.S., however the Brazilian Federal government is still in the initial stages of developing a comprehensive contingency plan for Deep-Water Drilling Disasters.

The details of the plan as well as the future landscape of the worldwide offshore industry will be some of the topics discussed at the Next Generation Oil & Gas Latin America Summit.

The event offers meetings, workshops and discussions with the some key Industry and Government Regulatory Officials. Delegates from BG Group, Anadarko, OGX, and Shell, among others, will discuss issues such as the operation of extra heavy oil fields, the development of natural gas projects, technical improvement of offshore drilling, the optimization of production and the recovery of mature fields.

Unlike traditional trade fairs, the summit is a three-day event that encourages networking through the one-to-one meetings, workshops and leisure activities.
“It’s a unique format,” said Greg Hebertson, General Manager of South America Exploration for Anadarko Petroleum in a filmed statement. “I think it’s very well done and gives an opportunity for people like me to expand my network and find business solutions.”

Place: Windsor Barra Hotel
Avenida Lucio Costa 2630 , Barra da Tijuca
Rio de Janeiro
Date: February 1st – 3rd, 2011
Time: Tuesday to Friday, Noon to 7PM
Web site: www.ngosummitla.com

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Through the years we have had over a hundred freelance reporters and contributors writing for us, and we thank them all for their work.

1 COMMENT

  1. the conference is interesting, everybody in the oil patch gets to meet and greet, but what the future holds here is highly debatable. Brazil was lucky that the first deep water disaster occurred in US waters, in a BP well. Imagine the international outcry if a Petrobras well in the pre-salt had blown, killed rig hands, and polluted waters!
    That, of course, will someday happen, because nobody–not Petrobras, not ANP, not the Ministries of Energy or Mines or Maritime or any other “cabide de emprego” have the least clue as to what will happen if a subsea well blows out in the Brazilian bonanza fields. There is no contingency plan, announced in July as coming into effect in September (see the link) because nobody in this country has the scientific knowledge to make any such plan, let alone put it into operation. And even if they had the knowledge, they don’t have the will, because they don’t have the money. Cynicism on my part? You betcha!

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