October 03 2008 / by Garry Golden
Category: Energy Year: Beyond Rating: 9 Hot
Few people think of Brazil as an emerging global energy player. Even the most widely cited future of energy scenarios do not put Brazil into the elite group of energy resource-rich nations.
While it is best known for its domestically produced sugarcane ethanol, Brazil’s real source of energy wealth and future geopolitical power is likely to come from exports of oil and natural gas extracted from its deepwater reserves.
Energy pundits are now tracking early indicators hinting that Brazil is awakening to its full potential as a uniquely diversified energy economy growing around traditional hydrocarbon resources while simultaneously expanding its own renewables and bio energy solutions. Brazil’s rise as a global energy powerhouse will take decades to unfold, but it might turn out to be one of the more interesting geopolitical energy stories of the next century.
Who might follow in Anadarko’s footsteps
On Thursday, Houston, Texas-based Andarko announced a successful deepwater field discovery offshore of Brazil in its Campos Basin region. This could be the beginning of a string of announcements to come from energy majors tapping the deepwater oil fields of Brazil.
Announcements are likely to come from companies based around the world. Everyone is looking to partner with Brazil in advancing deepwater drilling and securing access to their growing reserves. While the general public might see the oil industry organized neatly into brand names like BP, Shell, Exxon and Chevron, the reality is that these companies are all betting on each other. Most projects have a lead company, but the financial risk is spread with smaller stakes held by competitors and specialized development firms.
Brazil’s emergence as an energy giant might be quiet, but they are not going to do it alone. Now that it has overcome the technical challenges of deepwater drilling, it must navigate the complex geopolitical landscape of energy politics.
Brazil: Deepwater brings new opportunities & challenges