Brazil could be one of the five largest exporters of oil in 2026. The expectation of the Director of Studies of Petroleum, gas and biofuels of the energy research Company (EPE), José Mauro Ferreira Coelho, is based on the combination of the growth of production with the lack of expansion of the area of refining in the country.
He said that the increase in production has been repeated and the prospect is that it will continue at this rate in the coming years. EPE studies indicate that in 2026, the country will reach 5.2 million barrels of oil (oil and gas) per day, while the refining park has the capacity to process about 2.2 million barrels.
"What we see on the horizon for ten years is a difficulty in new refining investments and that we will be exporting something around 3 million of oil barrels in 2026. Besides being a great producer, which is already very important, we will be a great exporter, exporting 3 million of barrels of oil a day. This will make Brazil the world's top five oil exporters. Quite possibly we will be behind only, at export level, from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq and Canada, "said in an interview with the Brazilian agency.
Currently, Brazil is part of the list of the ten largest oil producing countries. According to numbers International Energy Agency, with the average daily production, in 2017, 3.2 million barrels petroleum (oil and natural gas in oil equivalent, what is called an oil barrel equivalent-BOE), In addition to joining the group and occupying ninth place, Brazil surpassed Kuwait, one of the members of the organization of the oil-producing countries (OPEC). Kuwait recorded in 2017 the production of 3.1 million barrels.
"No doubt Brazil will still have a much greater stake in this world of oil than it currently has and what is being designed by the International Energy Agency for 2018. You can go higher in the ranking, "said the director of EPE.
With this ranking, Brazil is starting to have a significant relevance in the world's geopolitics of petroleum. "Of course this impacts the international oil market and consequently impacts the price of the oil barrel. Then, within the producing countries, Brazil is starting to have a greater importance in the game of oil in the world, the price of oil in the world and also in this balance between supply and demand for oil, "he said.
The executive pointed out, however, that, as it is not part of OPEC, Brazil does not need to be subject to the limits adopted by members of this group. "They impose on the associated limits of export quotas. Since Brazil is not part of this association, it has no export quota limit established. Brazil does not have to talk to anyone about its oil production or its oil exports, what it thinks about producing or exporting, "he completed.
For José Mauro, the relevance of Brazil in the world oil market will rise when the country become one of the top five exporters. For him, effectively, what messes with the international oil market is not the amount of production, but the country's ability to put oil in the world for sale.
"It's no use being a great producer and also being a great consumer. There, I do not put oil in the world to be marketed, but when I am a major exporter, I have significant influence on the oil market, even influencing oil prices, "he noted.
Despite saying that it is the federal government's careful assessment of Brazil's interest to integrate OPEC, it does not see a need for the country to join the group at this time. "This has to be evaluated calmly at ministerial level."
According to the director, the lowest risk in the exploration of the pre-salt area attracts the largest number of companies for investments in projects in the region, which contributes to the increase of Brazilian production.
"These pre-salt reserves, in addition to being low-risk exploratory, are large-volume areas. In fact, this greatly increases the attractiveness of international companies in investing in Brazil in the area of exploration and production. Another factor is the legal and regulatory certainty that exists in Brazil, different from other oil producing countries, "he said, adding that the schedule of auctions of exploratory blocks maintained by the federal government also favors the environment of Investments.
"I think this also gives a positive signal to the companies that operate in the sector that Brazil has a predictability in relation to this activity of oil and gas production in the country. This ends up mobilizing not only Petrobras, but also other international companies, "he said.
Import of derivatives
Even with positive perspectives, the director warned the country's need to invest more in refining parks to reduce the import of derivatives such as LPG, NAFTA, diesel oil, aviation kerosene and gasoline.
According to EPE, in 2017 were 547,000 barrels/day. In the previous four years, only in the years of recession 2015 (362,000 barrels/day) and 2016 (430,000 barrels/day) there was a lower level. In 2013, were 439,000 barrels/day and, in 2014, 442,000 barrels.
In the first four months of 2018, 179,000 barrels/day of derivatives were imported. By EPE calculations, the year must close with imports of approximately 535,000 barrels/day.
"We have a refining park that is not able to process all the oil we produce. We should have more investments in refining in Brazil so that we could supply the national market of derivatives without the need for import, "he indicated.
The Director also noted that in the next ten years the import of derivatives can reach 800,000 barrels/day, especially diesel oil. The prospect represents a challenge for the need to capture refining investments.
According to the executive, today 98% of the national park are from Petrobras, which is prioritizing investments in the area of oil exploration and production where it has greater return, but new studies are being done to increase investments in refining.
Source: Brazil agency.
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