Big Oil Doubles Down On Brazil’s Exploding Offshore Sector

Big Oil is betting big on oil exploration offshore Brazil, where the prolific pre-salt basin promises a lot of additional supply over the coming years.

From Shell to Exxon, many major corporations continue to win acreage and explore for oil off Brazil, which is expected to be one of the key non-OPEC contributors to global oil supply this decade.

“We are going through the best moment in years,” Matheus Rangel, a Rio-based oil worker told Bloomberg’s Peter Millard.

“Exploration activity, and more importantly expenditure, is picking up, both in mature regions such as Brazil’s offshore and frontier areas like the Guyana-Suriname basin,” Schreiner Parker, Senior Vice President and Head of Latin America at Rystad Energy, wrote in Rystad’s regional newsletter last month.

Last year, some 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) of reserves were discovered in the region, with Mexico and Brazil alone accounting for more than 90 percent of these volumes, Parker said.

Brazil is also expected to lead globally in terms of floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) sanctioning with 20 FPSOs expected to be sanctioned between 2021 and 2025, Parker noted.

Brazil’s expected oil output surge this decade will make it the world’s fifth-largest crude exporter in 2030, Brazilian Mines and Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque said in an interview with The Rio Times earlier this month.

“In 2030, when we reach a production of 5.3 million barrels of oil per day, Brazil will become the fifth largest exporter in the world,” Albuquerque said, adding that Brazil’s crude and liquids production is set to jump from 3.3 million barrels per day (bpd) now.

Currently, Brazil is out of the top ten of the world’s largest crude oil exporters, a ranking where Saudi Arabia is firmly in the lead.

Brazil’s prolific pre-salt offshore oilfields have been ramping up production in recent years and are the main driver of rising oil production. Moreover, Brazil is one of the countries not part of the OPEC+ alliance that are expected to continue to contribute to non-OPEC supply this year and in the coming years, according to estimates from OPEC itself.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com