Grupo de Economia da Energia

Posts Tagged ‘regulation’

The evolution of the Brazilian government’s natural gas policy

In natural gas on 05/12/2011 at 00:37

By Marcelo Colomer

Almost a year after Decree 7,382 by the former President of the Republic Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a seminar was held in Brasilia on the challenges of the new regulatory framework for the natural gas industry in Brazil. The event occurred in the last 29, from a joint initiative of the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) and Energy Planning Company (EPE).

The main objective of the event was to discuss with the sector agents the main challenges for implementing the new regulatory framework for the natural gas industry. According to the MME Secretary, Marco Antônio Almeida, there is recognition that Act 11,909 and Decree 7,382 do not cover issues relating to gas regulation, thus requiring additional regulatory acts. According to him, this is a major challenge for MME and ANP. Helder Queiroz, ANP Director, states that development of new resolutions and ordinances and review of regulatory acts in force are essential to bind ANP rules to the new industry’s regulatory framework. Continue lendo »

Environmental regulation: an obstacle to shale gas extraction?

In natural gas on 03/10/2011 at 00:15

By Edmar de Almeida & Luiz Suárez 

Shale gas is a type of unconventional natural gas in low permeability sedimentary formations. Unlike conventional gas, which migrates from rocks to reservoir rocks, this unconventional gas is trapped, because the low permeability hinders its escape. This characteristic prevented for a long time such gas extraction of, since there were no technologies able to promote its removal from shale formations.

Due to horizontal well drilling and hydraulic fracturing advent this paradigm has been overcome. This process consists of pumping sand and water under high pressure with other chemicals in the well in order to fracture the shale formations through slots opened initially by using “perforating gun”, allowing the release of gas from sedimentary formations into the well.

This technique was responsible for increasing greatly the recoverable natural gas resources of the world. In the USA, for example, 24 trillion out of 71 trillion cubic meters of total recoverable reserves is related to reserves of shale gas, according to International Energy Agency (IEA). This scenario changed significantly, and USA, as former LNG importer, became one of potential natural gas exporters.

By confirming that it was possible to extract gas from shale formations, natural gas already considered as a transition fuel to clean energy sources had this role reaffirmed. Not everything is a bowl of cherries; this new opportunity to obtain natural gas has been accompanied by questions about the negative impacts that hydraulic fracturing may cause on the environment. Continue lendo »

What the impacts on the current revolution market of the shale gas?

In natural gas on 25/07/2011 at 00:15

By Edmar de Almeida 

The development of technologies for production of shale gas has been considered a revolution for business and economics of natural gas. Many agents and even the U.S. government believe that unlinking price of natural gas from price of oil in the United States is a structural phenomenon that reflects the new technological and geological context of the natural gas industry. There is a perception that the technological revolution of shale gas will affect permanently not only the U.S. gas industry, but also the global gas trade. Those believing this structural show the following arguments to support this view:

  • The current shale gas resources in the USA are equivalent to 3.5 times the volume of all proved reserves in the USA today. Moreover, the availability of shale gas resources is not restricted to USA. A recent survey conducted by Department of Energy (DOE) has pointed out the existence of large volumes of shale gas resources in 48 sedimentary basins in 32 countries, including Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay and Paraguay.
  • The technological learning process in the last 10 years has reduced dramatically the cost of producing shale gas. The main innovations were: i) reduction of the time for drilling wells, ii) improvement of horizontal drilling techniques, iii) improvement of geological knowledge in production areas, iv) development of hydraulic fracturing technology and standardization of equipment. These innovations have reduced production costs to less than US$ 3 per MMBtu, in the best producing areas. Continue lendo »

Prices, costs and new regulatory framework for oil

In oil on 25/04/2011 at 00:30

By Thales Viegas

The production sharing agreement, in Brazil, changes significantly the role of costs and prices in oil activity regulation. First, costs have become the decisive factor for determining the surplus oil to be shared. Second, the price of oil may not only be a reference to the monetization of oil for each agent involved, that is, the price which pays the oil purchased by agent. It can also influence the magnitude of the sharing, if the price is a variable in the calculation that defines the percentage of surplus for the government. In some countries, to share profit oil with the government depends upon the price of oil. That is, the higher the price of oil, the greater the government’s portion for the profit oil.

By deduction, the production sharing agreement may fix the involvement of government in production, but also can allow it to alternate according to contract items previously agreed. Given the centrality of price and cost variables, the following analyses attempt to explain the interdependent dynamics of these two items. Continue lendo »

The accident in the Gulf of Mexico and its consequences for the World Oil Industry

In oil on 05/07/2010 at 00:28

By Helder Queiroz

Over the last decade, the global oil industry (GOI) was strongly affected by the changes observed: i) asset configuration due to transactions of mergers and acquisitions; ii) market conditions, with changes in supply and demand structures; and iii) regulatory frameworks of the main producing countries.

Over the past five years, in particular, there was a major change in economic conditions of GOI: high international prices that reached the level of US$ 145 per barrel, after a long period of relatively low prices (below US$ 28 in 1986-1998).

Despite the hard drop recorded in July 2008 causing a new price level around US$ 60-80 per barrel and the reduction in global demand in 2009 due to the downturn in world economic activity, factors of uncertainty are present regarding the future expansion of production capacity. Continue lendo »