Brazil's invests heavily to multiply natural gas production
Brazilian government-controlled oil company Petrobras is planning to invest 18 billion US dollars in the gas sector over the next four years, most of it in 2008, taking Brazil's current production from 27.5 million cubic meters in 2006 to 70 million cubic meters by 2011.
This announcement was made by Petrobras president José Sérgio Gabrielli, during the seminar Natural Gas: Regulator and Investment Attraction, promoted by the National Confederation of Industries (CNI), in Brasília. "We will expand the grid of gas pipelines to 8,500 kilometers by 2010" said Gabrielli, adding that the investment is part of the Plan for Anticipation of Gas Production (Plangás), being developed in partnership with the federal government to expand production of natural gas in Brazil. But Gabrielli also pointed out that Brazilian energy autonomy depends on heavy investment. "The gas industry requires great investment. It is not possible to consider the production chain without great investment and long-term return," he said. Petrobras and Algerian state-owned Sonatrach, signed at the end of May a memorandum of understanding which includes among other projects cooperation for the Brazilian import of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Sonatrach is the largest oil company on the African continent and the 12th largest in the world, according to Petroleum Intelligence Weekly (PIW). Algerian gas, according to the Petrobras statement, would be used in terminals that the company is implementing in Pecém Port, in the northeastern Brazilian state of Ceará, and in Guanabara Bay, in the southeastern Rio de Janeiro. The agreement, signed in Algeria, also forecasts studies in the area of exploration and production on onshore, and especially offshore, blocks in Brazil, Algeria and in some countries of common interest. In related news Petrobras announced Brazil's oil production in Brazil should grow by 5.3% this year to reach a daily average of 1.480,000 barrels. In addition to the start of operations at platform P-51 which will add approximately 180,000 oil bpd to the national production when operating at full capacity and also contributing to increase the Brazilian production will be four new oil and gas production units that Petrobras should inaugurate before the end of this year. Petrobras currently has three other platforms under construction: the P-52, whose work is being carried out by the Brasfels shipyard, located in Angra dos Reis, in the southeastern Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro; the P-53, for which a shipyard from Singapore is in charge of building the hull, but assembly is being carried out by the Rio Grande shipyard, in the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul; and the P-54, under the responsibility of the Mauá-Jurong shipyard.