So, why are we in Angra? The answer is black gold, Texas Tea or erm… Brazilian P (pre-sal). Although the Brazilians have made great advances in the use of sugarcane ethanol in recent decades, in fact becoming a if not the leader in the field, in 2007 large pockets of offshore oil were discovered off of the southern coast. New areas are continuing to be discovered almost daily. This very well could be a game changer in the energy markets in Brazil as well as the world for a long time to come. The first oil fields in Brazil were discovered in the 1930s but they were inland and relatively small. In 1953 the then President, Getulio Vargas created Petrobras, a state run company with exclusive drilling rights in Brazil. Over time Petrobras was increasingly viewed as a monopoly and in 1997 new legislation allowed other companies both foreign and domestic to bid on drilling leases. Feared as the possible death of Petrobras and Brazil’s ability to profit from their own resources, the move to allow in other companies actually seems to have strengthened both Petrobras and the Brazilian oil industry. In fact, recent news about a down third quarter for the Brazilian GDP didn’t seem to dampen the current CEO of Petrobas, José Sergio Gabrielli’s spirits.
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Petrobras has operations in some 27 countries now and over the years has come to be considered an expert in deep-water drilling. Explorations in 1970s in the offshore of Brazil started to produce small but promising discoveries of pockets of oil. In 2007 at a depth of some 20,000 feet the Tupi pre-salt field in the Santos basin located off the coast of São Paulo state was discovered. Many additional areas of pre-salt up and down the southern coast of Brasil have and continue to be found as we speak. Thus making the estimates of production of future barrels of oil skyrocket to double digit billlions. But… what exactly is Pre-salt? Pre-salt known here as pre-sal, is an area of oil located in very deep waters that is underneath a layer of sand and rock and an additional layer of salt. Sometimes these layers combined are estimated to be almost 17,000 feet deep. The depth combined with the need to filter out dirt, sand and air from the oil once it’s obtained make the pre-salt drilling process a very expensive endeavor but with a growing global energy crisis it could possibly prove to be a very beneficial one to Brazil and the world. It is estimated that it will take years to get most of the production online. So, right now what’s happening is that the structures are being built, ports are springing up everywhere on the coast of Brazil and preexisting ports are getting makeovers and extensions. Platform manufacturers, ship builders, offshore technicians, welders, electricians, investors, translators and specialists in various maritime fields are pouring in to ready Brasil for it’s oil boom. Somewhere among those categories you will find MGFI and Angra is one of the cities in Brazil where industry involving things related to the oil industry is growing. And that my friends is why we loaded up the truck and moved to An-gr-a.
More to come about Angra Dos Reis…