Brazil is the world’s 15th largest oil producer. Up to 1997, the oil monopoly belonged to Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras). As of today, more than 50 oil companies are engaged in oil exploration.The only global oil producer is Petrobras, with output of more than 2 million barrels (320,000 m3) of oil equivalent per day. It is also a major distributor of oil products, and owns oil refineries and oil tankers.
In 2006, Brazil had 11.2 billion barrels (1.78×109 m3) the second-largest proven oil reserves in South America after Venezuela. The vast majority of proven reserves are located at Campos and Santos offshore basins on the southeast coast of Brazil.
In November 2007, Petrobras announced that it believes the offshore Tupi oil field has between 5 and 8 billion barrels (1.3×109 m3) of recoverable light oil and neighbouring fields may even contain more, which all in all could result in Brazil becoming one of the largest producers of oil in the world.
Brazil is a net exporter of oil since 2011. However, the country still imports some light oil from the Middle East, because several refineries, built in the 1960s and 1970s under the military government, are not suited to process the heavy oil in Brazilian reserves, discovered decades later.
Transpetro, a wholly owned subsidiary of Petrobras, operates a crude oil transport network. The system consists of 6,000 kilometres (3,700 mi) of crude oil pipelines, coastal import terminals, and inland storage facilities.
Cars fueled by natural gas are common in Brazil. At the end of 2005, the proven reserves of Brazil’s natural gas were 306 x 109 m³, with possible reserves expected to be 15 times higher. Until recently natural gas was produced as a by-product of the oil industry. The main reserves in use are located at Campos and Santos Basins. Other natural gas basins include Foz do Amazonas, Ceara e Potiguar, Pernambuco e Paraíba, Sergipe/Alagoas, Espírito Santo and Amazonas (onshore).
Petrobras controls over 90 percent of Brazil’s natural gas reserves. Brazil’s inland gas pipeline systems are operated by Petrobras subsidiary Transpetro. In 2005, construction began on the Gas Unificação (Gasun pipeline) which will link Mato Grosso do Sul in southwest Brazil, to Maranhão in the northeast. China’s Sinopec is a contractor for the Gasene pipeline, which will link the northeast and southeast networks. Petrobras is also constructing the Urucu-Manaus pipeline, which will link the Urucu gas reserves to power plants in the state of Amazonas.
In 2005, the gas production was 18.7 x 109 m³, which is less than the natural gas consumption of Brazil.Gas imports come mainly from Bolivia’s Rio Grande bassin through the Bolivia-Brazil gas pipeline (Gasbol pipeline), from Argentina through the Transportadora de Gas de Mercosur pipeline (Paraná-Uruguayana pipeline), and from LNG import. Brazil has held talks with Venezuela and Argentina to build a new pipeline system Gran Gasoducto del Sur linking the three countries; however, the plan has not moved beyond the planning stages.
Reserves, Production & Consumption Statistics
The proven reserves in Brazil correspond to 12.8 billion barrels in 2008 (volume 1.4% higher than in 2007). In 2008, Brazil was in 16th position in the world ranking as to proven oil reserves. Of proven reserves nationals, 93% were located offshore and 7% were situated onshore.
The rate of oil supply expansion will be determined largely by Petrobras and IOC spending. Statoil plans to begin production at its Peregrino field (60,000b/d) by 2011. Petrobras and partners plan pilot production at Tupi of 100,000 b/d and 4 MM m³ by December of 2010.
Over the longer term, the potential of the new Tupi and pre-salt oil discoveries could add greatly to Brazilian oil and gas production, boosting output to 1 MM bbl/d by 2017.