LONDON Nov 12 Brazil is set to become a net oil
exporter and top 10 producer from 2015 if it overcomes hurdles
to developing its giant offshore discoveries, the West's energy
agency said on Tuesday.
In its 2013 World Energy Outlook, the International Energy
Agency (IEA), which advises large industrialised nations on
energy policy, said Brazil could play a major role in supplying
the world's energy needs in coming decades, though its rise
would hinge on its ability to develop its resources.
"Brazil plays a central role in meeting the world's oil
needs through to 2035, accounting for one-third of the net
growth in global supply," the report said.
"Such an increase in supply is heavily dependent on highly
complex and capital-intensive deepwater developments, where
Brazil is set to consolidate its position as the global leader."
Brazil, Latin America's largest economy, has made several
finds in deep water since 2007. Its largest is the Libra field,
which holds between 8 and 12 billion barrels of recoverable oil,
according to Brazil's oil regulator and a Dallas-based reserve
If the projection holds, Libra could nearly double Brazil's
oil reserves or give it enough oil to supply the world's crude
demand for as much as 19 weeks.
But last month's sale of Libra, designed to launch Brazil as
an oil power, highlighted the challenges the sector faces.
It attracted a fraction of the interest expected, with major
oil companies worried that development rules offered too little
opportunity for profit and too large a role for the government
and state-controlled Petrobras.
The auction was won by a group led by Petrobras and
including France's Total SA and Anglo-Dutch Royal
Dutch Shell Plc along with two Chinese partners - CNOOC
Ltd and China National Petroleum Corp.
Though Brazil's energy plan seeks to boost the country's
economy, the auction took place as security forces clashed with
hundreds of protesters objecting to the sale of natural
resources to foreign companies.
The IEA said Brazil's success would hinge on maintaining
high levels of energy investment at around $90 million a year,
two thirds of which must go to the oil sector.
"The heaviest burden lies with Petrobras, the world's
largest deepwater operator, placing an emphasis on its ability
to deploy resources effectively across a huge and varied
investment programme," it said.
The IEA predicted Brazil would be the world's sixth-largest
oil producer by 2035, while the country's net biofuels exports
would grow to account for some 40 percent of global biofuels
trade over that period.