With a little time left until the establishment of the local content policy for the 14th bidding round, which is scheduled for the beginning of this year, the Brazilian government bets on the dialogue between operators and suppliers to address the existing deadlocks on the revision of the standard and boost the local services industry business. Last month, Márcio Félix, oil and gas secretary for the Ministry of Mines and Energy (picture below), launched the Brazilian Debate Forum on Oil & Gas in Vitória (state of Espirito Santo), a kind of council whose aim is to strengthen the relationship among companies in the sector, so as to develop equipment and technologies that meet the needs and demands of the industry both in Brazil and overseas.

The choice of the city of Vitoria to launch the project was based on the successful model of the Capixaba Forum on Oil & Gas, implemented over ten years ago, and has already helped develop 29 innovation projects for the sector. “the state of Espirito Santo represents the possibility of doing something concrete and different”, said Felix. According to him, the state has a business environment that should be a reference for the country, from the relationship between public and private sectors and academia. “The state has a very organized environment for the oil & gas sector and this is demand of the country at the moment. A nationwide discussion is required, showing everyone that it is possible to increase the supply of the service industry, both in Brazil and overseas”.

Foto: Leonardo Duarte - SECOM/ES
Foto: Leonardo Duarte – SECOM/ES

According to Félix, the idea is to take the Forum to other states. The first one would be in Rio Grande do Sul. “Although the state is not an oil producer, it has shipyards that can build FPSOs. That is why we would like to get the big players to talk to these suppliers in an attempt to close new partnerships and businesses”, he said.

The government’s project was well received by operators like Shell, Statoil and Petrobras, whose representatives presented their needs to the Espírito Santo industry during the Forum, held on Monday. The Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute (IBP) and the Brazilian Association of Petroleum Service Companies (Abespetro) also supported the initiative.

According to Antonio Guimarães, IBP’s E&P Executive Secretary, the initiative is iconic and should stimulate the resumption of business in Brazil. “Local content is something we all want. A strong supply chain makes the country more attractive. But there was a period in Brazil in which the best way to develop the local industry was believed to be from an obligation. Overprotection is not sustainable, as companies that only serve the domestic market are not capable of competing abroad. What we want is local content on a global competitive basis that generates value for the country”, he affirmed.