Challenges of the new downstream scenario in Brazil

July 31, 2020

The downstream segment in Brazil is experiencing a unique moment in its history. The oil refining activity is going through a period of transition to a framework with a greater plurality of agents, more open and dynamic, with numerous planning and regulatory challenges.

The Brazilian refining park has a daily oil processing capacity of 2.4 million barrels, 98% of which is owned by Petrobras. The company included eight refineries in its divestment projects, totaling 1.1 million barrels per day, which are expected to be sold by 2021, according to the Term of Commitment for Termination of Practice (TCC) signed between the company and the Board of Directors of Economic Defense (CADE).

In view of this scenario, the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) has worked continuously, together with other bodies, through the Abastece Brasil initiative, in order to prepare the sector for this new design, based on governance, stability, with legal and regulatory security, and predictability, fundamental conditions for making investments. The initiative, coordinated by the MME, is one of the instruments of the National Energy Policy Council (CNPE) in the formulation of guidelines for the fuel sector.

In 2019, CNPE approved Resolution No. 9, which established guidelines for the promotion of free competition in the country’s refining activity, with the objective of stimulating the entry of new players and attracting investments to the sector, in line with CADE. The competition defense body understood that there was a high concentration in the refining segment, recommending that the sale of refining assets take place entirely, without any active or passive participation of the company in the corporate structure of the seller; and, that regional competition be promoted.

For the 2020 agenda, the Abastece Brasil initiative gave priority to carrying out studies on the themes “commercialization of biodiesel”, “infrastructure for handling oil and oil products” and “inventory formation”. The deadline for completion of the work on “biodiesel” and “infrastructure” is August. The debate will start in 2020. The construction of measures and actions necessary for the legal and regulatory improvement of the sector is sought, with wide participation of agents, representative entities and other interested parties, within a transparent dialogue.

In addition, the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) has been working on the revision of the regulatory framework, with a new regulatory framework on foreign trade, the transparency of the prices for the sale of oil products and the revision of the rules for use , from third parties, from waterway terminals. Aware of the new scenario, the Agency formed a working group that prepared an action plan for the post-sale period of the refining assets, with an emphasis on guaranteeing the supply of oil products throughout the national territory and protecting consumers.

MME and ANP are still active in the face of transformations in the fuel sector, in conjunction with other bodies and with the participation of society, in order to guarantee national supply. The stimulus to competition will contribute to a business environment more favorable to investments, resulting in efficiency gains for the sector. The final objective pursued is to benefit the consumer, with better conditions of offer, price and quality of products.

Source: Ministry of Mines and Energy

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