Advertisement

The Incredible Transforming History of a Former Oil Refiner into a Major Deepwater Offshore Operator: Blending Audacity, Technology, Policy, and Luck from the 1970s Oil Crisis up to the 2000s Pre-salt Discoveries

  • Edmilson Moutinho dos SantosEmail author
  • Drielli Peyerl
Chapter
Part of the Historical Geography and Geosciences book series (HIGEGE)

Abstract

For many decades, the way to find oil was resulted from a tactile approach and some luck. In the early twentieth century, Brazil started building its National Approach regarding oil and gas. The country nationalized petroleum before even finding it with the creation in 1938 of the National Petroleum Council (Conselho Nacional do Petróleo). After numerous attempts, oil in Brazil was only found in 1939 in the state of Bahia. In 1953, the Brazilian National Oil Company, Petrobras, was created, kicking off a new period in the formation of domestic expertise and technology development, and state-led exploratory efforts. After important (although always insufficient) investments in the search of onshore oil fields, from 1968, Brazil turns to the seas and begins new exploratory cycles focused on the offshore oil research. The international oil prices had begun to escalate, leading to the shocks of the 1970s and the opening of new exploratory frontiers worldwide. The first offshore discovery was registered in a well drilled in shallow waters in the field Guaricema, Sergipe-Alagoas Basin. Nevertheless, Brazil’s real offshore adventure started from the mid-1970s with the first drilling in the Southeastern Campos Basin. From shallow to ultra-deepwaters, the Brazilian NOC, born with the initial mission to build a major national refining industry, gradually transformed itself into a vertically integrated company and then into a major offshore operator. The process of industrialization and modernization of Petrobras will be discussed in this chapter book, with focus on history, technology, policy, and luck from the 1970s oil crisis up to the 2000s pre-salt discoveries. Consistent state efforts put Brazil on the Global Oil Map and allowed the country to develop a reputation as an attractive place for foreign investment.

Notes

Acknowledgements

Drielli Peyerl thanks especially the current financial support of grant Process 2017/18208-8 and 2018/26388-9, São Paulo Research Foundation (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo—FAPESP).

The authors gratefully acknowledge support from SHELL Brasil and FAPESP through the “Research Centre for Gas Innovation - RCGI” (Fapesp Proc. 2014/50279-4), hosted by the University of São Paulo, and the strategic importance of the support given by ANP (Brazil’s National Oil, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency) through the R&D levy regulation.

References

  1. Annual Report 2017 (2017) Petrobras, Rio de JaneiroGoogle Scholar
  2. Awad SP (1997) Albacora field FPS: another deepwater development offshore Brazil. Offshore Technology Conference, 5–8 May, Houston, TexasGoogle Scholar
  3. Beltrão RLC, Sombra CL, Lage ACVM, Fagundes Netto JR, Henriques CCD (2009) Challenges and new technologies for the development of the pre-salt cluster, Santos Basin, Brazil. Offshore Technology Conference, TexasGoogle Scholar
  4. Brasil (1933) Decreto n° 23.345, de 10 de novembro de 1933. Available in: http://legis.senado.leg.br/legislacao/listaPublicacoes.action?id=38156&tipodocumento=dEC&tipoTexto=PUB. Accessed 17 Jan 2013
  5. Bruhn CHL, Gomes JAT, Del Lucchese C Jr, Johann PRS (2003) Campos basin: reservoir characterization and management—historical overview and future challenges. Offshore Technology Conference, 15220, MayGoogle Scholar
  6. Bruhn CHL, Pinto ACC, Johann PRS, Salomão MC, Freire EB (2017) Campos and Santos basins: 40 years of reservoir characterization and management of shallow—to ultra-deep water, post- and pre-salt reservoirs—historical overview and future challenges. Offshore Technology Conference, 24–26 October, Rio de Janeiro, BrazilGoogle Scholar
  7. Chiaradia K (2008) Ao amigo Franckie, do seu Lobato: estudo da correspondência entre Monteiro Lobato e Charles Franckie (1934–37) e sua presença em “o Escândalo do Petróleo” (1936) e “o Poço do visconde” (1937). Dissertation. University of Campinas, Campinas City, São Paulo State, 439 fGoogle Scholar
  8. Código de Minas (1934) Diário Oficial da União. Decree nº 24.642, July 10. Available in: http://www2.camara.leg.br/legin/fed/decret/1930-1939/decreto-24642-10-julho-1934-526357-publicacaooriginal-79587-pe.html. Accessed Feb 2019
  9. Crude oil production in Brazil between 1970–2016 (Total, Thousand toe). Available in: https://data.oecd.org/energy/crude-oil-production.htm. Accessed July 2017
  10. de Oliveira EP (1940) História da Pesquisa de Petróleo no Brasil. Serviço de Publicidade Agrícola, Rio de JaneiroGoogle Scholar
  11. Exploration of Oil in Bahia State, Brazil, in the early of 1960’s. Frederico Waldemar Lange’s Archive (1911–1988), State University of Ponta Grossa. Box 82. [undated]Google Scholar
  12. Goldemberg J, Lucon O (2007) Energy and environment in Brazil. Estudos Avançados. vol 21, No. 59, São Paulo, Jan/Apr, pp 7–20Google Scholar
  13. Lorenzatto RA, Juiniti R, Gomes JAT, Martins JA (2004) The marlim field development: strategies and challenges. Offshore Technology Conference. 3–6 May, Houston, TexasGoogle Scholar
  14. Magalhães AS, Domingues EP (2014) Blessing or curse: impacts of the Brazilian Pre-Salt oil exploration. EconomiA 15:343–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mau Mark, Edmundson Henry (2015) Groundbreakers—The story of oilfield technology and the people who made it happen: Fast-Print Publishing of Peterborough, England, 462 pGoogle Scholar
  16. Neto JBO, Costa AJD (2007) A Petrobrás e a exploração de Petróleo Offshore no Brasil: um approach evolucionário. Revista Brasileira de Economia. Rio de Janeiro: vol 61, n. 1, Jan/Mar, pp 95–109Google Scholar
  17. Petrobras (2018) Available in: http://www.petrobras.com.br/en/about-us/our-history/. Accessed 22 April
  18. Peyerl D (2017) O Petróleo no Brasil: exploração, capacitação técnica e ensino de geociências (1864–1968). EdUFABC, São Bernardo do CampoCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Priest T (2007) The offshore imperative—Shell Oil’s search for petroleum in postwar America. Texas A & M University PressGoogle Scholar
  20. Rodriguez MR, Suslick SB (2009) Na overview of Brazilian Petroleum Exploration Lease Auctions. TERRAE. Campinas 6(1):6-20Google Scholar
  21. Rosales C (2014) Oil and world power: PEMEX and Petrobras. Analéctica. Argentina: Año 0, No. 4, May, pp 1–9Google Scholar
  22. The pre-salt province—challenges and opportunities for the Brazilian Industry (2011) Petrobras. Available in: http://www.investidorpetrobras.com.br/download/1374. Accessed May 2018
  23. Waisberg I (2011) Brazil’s pre-salt layer—Summary submitted as coursework for PH240, Stanford University, Fall. Available in: http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2011/ph240/waisberg1/. Accessed May 2018

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edmilson Moutinho dos Santos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Drielli Peyerl
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Energy and Environment, University of São PauloSão Paulo CityBrazil

Personalised recommendations