Aug 19, 2020
Petrobras signaling to operate exclusively in the exploration of oil and natural gas in the offshore segment in ultra-deep waters, the activities of onshore production and marginal accumulated activities have opened up to independent operators and medium and small companies. The opening provided the resumption of investments in the Brazilian onshore, re-activating the sector in the states of Bahia, Rio Grande do Norte, Amazonas, Espírito Santo, Sergipe and Alagoas, which concentrate the largest productions in the country. This has generated new opportunities for small companies involved in the production chain that supports the operation even in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic scenario. In Rio Grande do Norte alone, the investments made have already surpassed half a billion dollars and bring optimistic perspectives, not only to the resumption of production levels, but also to revive activity and the economy of the producing regions, affected by the divestments of the state oil company.
Currently, at least ten independent operators are exploring this market in Rio Grande do Norte. The biggest one is Potiguar E&P, linked to the Petro Recôncavo group, which invested US $ 384 million in the fields of the Riacho da Forquilha Cluster. The beginning of activities in the state, in December last year, yielded an increase in production of approximately 22% for the group. Production rose from 3,700 barrels per day at the time to 4,500 barrels per day today.
According to data from the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP), Rio Grande do Norte had a decrease in the production of oil by 12.6% and 27.5% in natural gas in recent years. The president of RedePetro RN, Gutemberg Dias, said: “We have not yet managed to reverse this fall in oil production, but the data from Potiguar E&P is encouraging because it shows that, obviously with all operators operating the fields, there are a tendency to increase production and a decrease in this fall. This is very favorable ”.
For the superintendent director of Sebrae-RN, José Ferreira de Melo Neto, “the resumption of exploration and production of oil and natural gas in Rio Grande do Norte, one of the largest producers on land, is essential for state economy. Especially for the insertion of small businesses in this chain, at this very difficult moment that we are going through. The oil industry in onshore fields is one of RN’s main vocations. For this reason, Sebrae has assumed this role as a protagonist, both in articulation with the main players in this segment, and in the support for these small companies, which intend to take advantage of the opportunities generated by the re-activation of the sector ”.
3R Petroleum, which acquired the assets of the Macau cluster, announced that it plans to invest around $ 200 million over the life cycle of the field set, with a five-year window to begin more substantial investments in this area. This month, transfers of fields in the Potiguar basin to other independent companies were also completed: Central Resources, which purchased the Redonda and Ponta do Mel fields with transactions involving US$ 7.2 million, and Ouro Preto Oil & Gas, which acquired the totality of the stakes in the fields of Pescada, Arabaiana and Dentão, located in shallow waters, for US$ 1.5 million. Other operators are also part of this list of companies that bet on activity in the state. This is the case of Phoenix, Imetame, Geopark, Sonangol, Partex and Ubuntu.
The strengthening of this sector is important because it demands a series of services and supplies, which are met by small businesses involved in the chain. Hence the investments made by Sebrae in Rio Grande do Norte to prepare these small companies in the context of this new scenario, as well as to promote discussions and approximation between the links in the chain. In the last three years, the institution has invested around R$ 1.1 million to train entrepreneurs in the segment and also to promote events to expand the market for these companies with the main players in the sector.