Industry Observatory

The low oil prices have, along with the Brazil’s economic instability, become a “decelerating component for innovation in the country”. This is what the Technological Radar Report – Petroleum and Natural Gas , published by Lloyd’s in partnership with the Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute (IBP), suggests. The document was presented in the opening ceremony of the Technology Forum, during the Rio Oil & Gas 2016.

The study was based on a survey carried out with more than 240 companies operating in the Brazilian oil & natural gas sector, analyzing their behavior as regards new technologies and innovation at a critical moment for the country’s economy.

Through this study, the most critical obstacles to innovation in Brazil currently have been raised, as well as the challenges to the deployment of new technologies. It also examines the impact of specific policies on the sector, such as the Regulation of the PD&I clause, which sets forth that 1% of gross revenues from oil & natural gas exploration companies be invested in research and development in the country. There is also a classification of the potentially revolutionary technologies as regards the short- and long-term impact they will exert on the industry.

According to the study, the technologies selected as having a high short-term impact were those that have undergone incremental improvements in existing technologies, such as underwater robotics and other developments in deep-water equipment. In the long term, participants believe that technologies which will have the highest impact include software developments such as nanotechnology and advances in field flow for seismic modeling.

According to the survey, although half of the respondents have said that the R&D investment clause on the oil & natural gas production was positive for the sector, when they were asked about the specific details of the policy, such as its level of flexibility to adjust to the oil prices, respondents said there is still a lot of improvement to be achieved.

In turn, the item “improving education and technical skills and reducing corruption” appears at the top of the list of suggestions for improving Brazil’s supplier base, and 1/5 of respondents said that corruption is also the greatest obstacle to launch new technologies and innovations in the market.