R $1.28 trillion in new oil and gas projects can happen by 2030

The areas of oil, natural gas and biofuels already have guaranteed investments around R $800 billion by the end of the next decade with projects announced or contracted by the government since May 2016, Secretary Márcio Félix Bezerra, responsible for these Three segments in the Ministry of Mines and Energy. In a tone of balance, on the eve of a change in the team that will be triggered by the already announced exit of the Minister Fernando Coelho Filho, he estimates that this volume can reach the cipher of R $1.28 trillion with new projects that will have a referral even this year.

Felix points out the "Megaleilão" of oil and the expectation of announcing a new private refinery as highlights in the remaining period of government. He reiterates the forecast to do, in the second semester, the auction of the contract surpluses of six blocks in the pre-salt transferred to Petrobras in the process of capitalization of the company made in 2010. For the Secretary of Oil and gas, the interest of the industry's multinationals in the surplus of the costly transfer is virtually guaranteed. "It's an area with very low risk, large volumes, high productivity."

According to their estimates, if the Megaleilão allow the exploitation of five billion barrels of oil, the investment in new production systems could reach R $150 billion in less than ten years.

Each system – which encompasses the construction of submarine wells, drainage units and maritime platforms – for 500 million barrels moves approximately R $15 billion. Felix believes that, with the auction of surplus, the participation of the oil and gas industry in GDP could exceed 20%.

Another relevant investment is linked to the strong expectation of the Ministry of a new private refinery announcement at the end of this year. Maranhão and Ceará are waging an "Olympic dispute" by the project, which would have a budget of at least R $15

Billions and could process from 200,000 to 250,000 barrels per day of oil, according to their projections. Felix reported that there are ongoing talks – led by state Governments and ministry participation – with Chinese, Koreans, Indians and Iranians.

Today, in a meeting of the National Energy Policy Council (CNPE), a set of measures to encourage the attraction of refining investments should be approved. They are not "revolutionary" measures, according to Felix, which discards tax incentives. An example of what's coming out shows how simple questions are: the permission to run a refinery in the same area as an export processing zone (SPAS). It was a request made by the Government of Ceará.

For the secretary, a bet of foreign investors in refining in Brazil is not trivial. "It takes a lot of courage to get into a market where the dominant actor owns 99% of the market," he says.

On the other hand, according to him, the growth of production in the pre-salt causes Brazil to export about 1 million barrels a day in crude oil and continue importing derivatives. "The countries with a balance between supply and demand are rare", Felix points out. Only the logistical cost of exporting crude oil and bringing gasoline is at US $7 per barrel, he says.

In addition, other priorities of the Ministry still in 2018 are the definition of the goals of RenovaBio and the new regulatory framework of natural gas. The government sees the possibility of triple gas production over the next ten years, but believes that new legislation is fundamental. A text has already been sent by the Plateau Palace to the House of Deputies as a substitute for a bill that tramitava to reform the sector. The Secretary's expectation is to make, until the end of this month, a mapping of the convergences and divergences with the original text. Thus, it would be possible to seek the vote of the project in the chamber still in April.

"It is a fundamental project to attract investors," concludes the secretary. "We want to increase the chance of approval in this small parliamentary window that we have ahead," he adds, recalling the electoral period. Source: Economic value.

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