Oil and Natural Gas

Publicado em 27/07/2009

2009 – Portal Investe São Paulo

The productive chain of oil and natural gas is rather big. Traditionally, it can be divided into two large blocks: the upstream activities (exploration and production) and the downstream activities (transportation, refining and distribution). Nonetheless, its connections are greater, to the extent that said activities use a great number of complex and specific equipment (platforms, ducts, equipment for refining and processing) and specialized services (engineering, automation, consulting, construction, maintenance and security, among others).

The participation of the State of São Paulo stands out in the segment of refining. Its four refineries are responsible for 42% of the total capacity of the country, besides being responsible for an important capacity of production of noble oil products and processing of heavy crude of national origin. This prominence of the State in the refining structure of the country is strictly associated to the regional fuel market, in which São Paulo is relevant because it has more than one-fourth of the national market. The same way it occurs for oil by-products, the market of São Paulo also stands out regarding the consumption of natural gas: the biggest market of the country, its participation was 39% in 2007.

Historically, the State of São Paulo was characterized by the greatness of its fuel consumer market and by the nonexistence of fields from which significant amounts of oil and natural gas – NG could be extracted. That changed, first, with the discoveries of natural gas in the Santos Basin, a landmark in the industry of natural gas of the State and the country. The field of Mexilhão, the first great discovery of NG in the Santos Basin, should go into operation in the first half of 2010, producing nearly 15 million cubic meters a day, the equivalent to the current consumption of the whole State.

Other discoveries of natural gas and light oil in great amounts in the Santos Basin have increased even more the potential of the State for the chain of the sector. Until 2013, the group of reserves of the pre-salt should provide the market nearly 7 million cubic meters/day of natural gas and 219 thousand barrels of oil/day. In this regard, as São Paulo has a significant part of the national park of manufacturers of equipment for the oil segment (above 40%) and an organized set of institutions of education and research it should stand out as a technological reference throughout the next years.

Focused in that potential, in September/2007, the government of the State of São Paulo created the Comissão Especial de Petróleo e Gás Natural (Oil and Natural Gas Special Commission), aimed at the development of works with the purpose of internalizing the economic and social benefits of the activities of exploration and production of oil and natural gas, meeting the demands of the productive chain of the sector, strengthening and qualifying the industrial park of São Paulo and increasing the technological research and innovation, among others.

Within the sphere of the federal government, the Programa Nacional de Mobilização da Indústria de Petróleo e Gás Natural – Prominp (Program to Mobilize the Brazilian Oil and Natural Gas Industry) stands out, being responsible, among other projects, for the Programa Nacional de Qualificação Profissional – PNQP (Professional Qualification National Program), whose purpose is to increase the formation of manpower from courses offered together with regional institutions, such as the Fatecs (Technology Colleges) and the IFSP (Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of São Paulo).

Aimed at stimulating innovation and the training and qualification of human resources of the productive chain of the sector, the Finep Fundo Setorial do Petróleo e Gás Natural – CTPETRO (Oil and Natural Gas Sector Fund) has released funds for several institutions of São Paulo, among them, the Centro de Estudos de Petróleo – Cepetro (Center of Petroleum Studies) and the Instituto de Química (Institute of Chemistry), both of the Unicamp (State University of Campinas); the Escola Politécnica (Polytechnic School) and the Departamento de Engenharia Naval e Oceânica (Naval and Ocean Engineering Department), of the USP (University of São Paulo); the Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnológicas do Estado de São Paulo – IPT (State of São Paulo Institute for Technological Research); the Associação Brasileira de Tecnologia de Luz Síncroton – ABTLUS (Brazilian Association for Synchrotron Light Technology). Generally speaking, the projects are intended for the increase of production and productivity, the reduction of costs and prices and the improvement of the quality of the products of the sector.