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Monday, November 19, 2007

materia sobre o brasil

oi mocada,

vejam essa materia que saiu sobre o brasil em um jornal aqui dos eua:

With the price of oil hovering near $100 a barrel, the discovery of the
biggest deep-water oil field off the southeastern
coast has the potential to transform Brazil into a
global energy powerhouse and to reshape the politics
of this energy-starved continent.

While Brazil’s state oil company, Petrobras, has
known of the field for more than a year, it only
finished assessing its full potential in recent
months. It announced on Nov. 8 that the field held
some five billion to eight billion barrels of crude
oil and natural gas.

The announcement has everyone in the region, and
beyond, taking notice. A field that size — the biggest
in the world since a discovery in Kazakhstan in 2000 —
is a potential political game-changer for Brazil.

In the next five years it is conceivable that Brazil
could move ahead of Mexico and Canada in total oil
reserves, becoming second only to Venezuela and the
United States in the energy pecking order of the

This is heady stuff for Brazil, a country that only
last year became a net energy exporter mostly because
of its aggressive push into sugar-cane ethanol and
hydroelectric power.

“All of a sudden Brazil is emerging as an energy
power,” said Peter Hakim, president of the
Inter-American Dialogue, a policy group in Washington
focusing on Latin America. “Everything they have
developed, from soybeans to sugar to oil is suddenly
working. They have had amazing luck.”

There is little doubt that the find gives Brazil new
influence against energy players like Bolivia and
Venezuela, and not just in the economic competition
among energy suppliers, but in the political arena as

Much to the chagrin of the United States, Venezuela’s
president, Hugo Chávez, has used his nation’s oil
wealth to aggressively push a leftist agenda at home
and abroad. The Brazilian field, known as Tupi, now
has the potential to lend more weight to Brazil’s more
moderate, leftist approach.

Already countries around the region have been quick to
sense the potential threats and benefits. With news of
the discovery coming just ahead of a meeting of Latin
American leaders in Santiago, Chile, Brazil’s
president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, acknowledged
there during the meeting that he was being “treated
with a certain deference” by the other leaders.

Mr. Chávez nervously jested that Mr. da Silva was now
an “oil magnate.” He also quickly suggested that the
two nations create an Amazonian energy region similar
to the Caribbean and Andean integration efforts
Venezuela had been pushing for.

“Now Lula has some cards to put on the table with
Chávez,” said Roberto Teixeira da Costa, an economist
who serves on the board of the private equity arm of
Brazil’s development bank. “It is good to have some
counterweight in Latin America.” It seems the
discovery has already given Mr. da Silva more
confidence in standing up to Mr. Chávez and his
protégé, the Bolivian president, Evo Morales.

Petrobras on Tuesday pulled out of a natural gas
project with Venezuela, citing “technical and economic
reasons.” It denied the pullout had anything to do
with the Tupi discovery.

A cartoon in the Brazilian newspaper O Globo showed
Mr. da Silva sunbathing atop an oil gusher one day,
and breathing a black substance into the face of Mr.
Morales the next. “There’s Lula, full of gas: be
careful Morales!” the caption read.

The turnabout is dramatic. Just two years ago Mr.
Morales announced the nationalization of his nation’s
energy reserves. The step was a firm slap to Brazil,
which had invested in Bolivia. Now analysts expect the
new field will allow Brazil to take a tougher stand in
its negotiations with Bolivia over new gas contracts
and investments in Bolivia’s nationalized gas sector.

Mr. da Silva basked in the sudden possibilities,
declaring that “Brazil would obviously participate in
OPEC,” the global oil cartel, and already felt free
enough to weigh in on its politics, saying that the
organization should reduce oil prices.

He also insisted that Brazil would not “pull back even
one millimeter” from its push into biofuels. Brazil is
sitting on the most abundant farmland in the world,
which it has been using a part of to produce sugar
cane for ethanol.

Not least, though the new oil will not be online for
at least five years, the announcement of the size of
the field may help Mr. da Silva blunt criticism at
home that Brazil was heading into an energy crisis
because of a shortage of natural gas.

It has also raised hopes of easing the energy crisis
among Brazil’s neighbors, notably Argentina and Chile,
which have been struggling with a lack of natural gas
of their own.

Argentina has consistently cut off the flow of gas to
Chile for the past two winters, causing Chile to
scramble to find supplies elsewhere, and Bolivia’s
nationalization has raised doubts about its ability to
supply its neighbors’ growing energy demand.

“Every country in Latin America is aiming for energy
independence, because they don’t have that much trust
in their neighbors,” Mr. Hakim said.

Just last week Michelle Bachelet, Chile’s president,
rejected an offer from Mr. Chávez of subsidized
gasoline for the struggling public transportation
system in Santiago. Ms. Bachelet said she was
convinced that Chileans could resolve the system’s
problems “ourselves.”

Meanwhile, Petrobras, which has developed into a
leading expert on deep-water oil exploration, will
have to work hard to tap the find.

To coax the oil from Tupi, engineers will have to
drill up to 16,000 feet below the sea floor through
salt and rocks, in water depths of up to 10,000 feet,
an undertaking that is at the frontier of the
industry’s technological ability, according to PFC
Energy, a consultancy in Washington.

Even if the field turns out to be a good deal bigger
than Petrobras has estimated publicly, Brazil still
could not match Venezuela’s 80 billion barrels of oil
reserves. The Tupi field, if it holds at least 5
billion barrels, could push Brazil past 17 billion

“This is oil that is promised for the future, not for
today or tomorrow,” said Larry Goldstein, director of
the Energy Policy Research Foundation in Washington.
“If I was Chávez I wouldn’t be losing a lot of sleep —
not yet.”


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