By Erik Means, Rio de Janeiro
24 October 2016
“With ongoing improvements in oil and gas regulation, compliance, and a steady return to political stability, Brazil now looks well placed to remain one of the world’s key oil and gas producers,” the Brazil Oil & Gas Technology Radar survey from classification Lloyd’s Register said.
Unveiled on the first day of the Rio Oil & Gas conference and exhibition, the survey was conducted between 5 September and 3 October, and sought the perspectives of more than 240 companies in the Brazilian oil and gas sector.
It looked in particular at attitudes towards new technology and innovation, and asked respondents to identify the biggest barriers to innovation in Brazil today. Some 63% pointed to the high development costs and 35% listed uncertainty over returns, whereas 30% noted uncertainty over oil and gas prices.
LR’s survey, conducted with support from the Brazilian Institute of Oil, Gas and Biofuels (IBP), also asked participants to rank a number of potentially game-changing technologies.
The technologies that were expected to have a large impact over the short term, before 2020, were all incremental improvements on existing technologies: subsea robotics and other deep-water equipment advances (66%), sensor technology such as wireless monitoring (52%), and high-pressure, high-temperature drilling (52%).
For the medium term, between 2020 and 2025, the top answers were technologies such as laser and rigless drilling (61%), advances in remote, subsea operations (57%), and micro-seismic or passive seismic imaging (48%).
For the longer term, from 2025 and later, the technologies believed to have most impact included software advances, such as integrated, real-time operating systems (65%), nanotechnology and self-healing equipment (61%), and 4D seismic field flow modeling (52%).
More than a third of respondents (37%) said they believe that the average time taken to develop a technology from concept to deployment will stay the same over the next two years. A third (33%) believe it will increase, and 22% said they think it will decrease.
Just under half (41%) of respondents expected their average recovery rate will increase over the next two years, with 33% expecting it to stay the same and 11% expecting it to decrease.
“Brazil’s oil and gas industry could experience a period of significant growth if progress can be made on the integrity of the supply chain,” said LR’s energy director, Alasdair Buchanan.
The survey also indicates that alternatives to oil and gas are being considered as part of Brazil’s medium-term development for a cleaner, efficient and more balanced energy mix.
“New measures introduced in the country recently will contribute to a growth in alternative energy options and infrastructures,” Buchanan said. “It will be these measures that will direct the investments to future energy projects with high social and environmental returns.”