The Recent Development of Brazil's Private Petroleum Companies / by Chris Cote

Brazil’s long crusade for energy security, crowned by the discovery of massive offshore pre-salt oil and gas reserves in 2006, and recent stretch for greater geopolitical power now pivot on its success in gradually increasing the production of transportation fuels and natural gas in the coming years and decades.

Leading this national campaign is Petrobras, the federal government-controlled, but publicly-traded energy company that will operate Brazil’s strategic oil and gas blocks in concert with an expanding list of large, private transnationals and nationally-owned petroleum companies.  Almost forgotten in the mad dash to auction off the pre-salt reserves and transform Brazil into an energy superpower are the country’s smaller, private national oil and gas production companies.  These firms must make prudent investment decisions, develop their technical and human resources, and discover the best fit in order to make more than a modest contribution to the fast growing oil and gas sector puzzle.

Certainly Brazil offers an expanding and diversified list of possibilities in this sector, but can the nation’s private national petroleum companies take full advantage before Petrobras, Statoil, Chevron, Exxon-Mobil, and PetroChina among others limit the opportunities for development and growth in the coming decade?

This BrazilWorks briefing paper explores the recent development of Brazil’s private national petroleum companies and analyzes their performance in the recent, 11th round block auctions to provide an understanding of their current role in the country’s oil and gas boom and suggest possible paths toward future development.  The paper features specific analysis of Petra Energia, S.A., Queiroz Galvão, and the controversial OGX to illustrate the recent development of Brazil’s private national companies. Read the BrazilWorks briefing paper here:  The Recent Development of Brazil's Private Petroleum Producers