Petrobras' vision for growth and opportunities in Brazil

Petrobras’ bold vision for 2024–2028 prioritises sustainability and innovation in oil and gas exploration while offering lucrative opportunities for global supply chain collaboration, says EIC Energy Analyst Lucas Ramos.

oil rig brazil

Petrobras, Brazil’s state-owned energy giant, has laid out an ambitious strategic vision for 2024–2028. This forward-looking plan includes a substantial investment of US$102bn, representing a significant 31% increase on the firm’s 2023–2027 plan.

Focus on exploration and production

With a keen focus on oil and gas exploration and production (E&P), Petrobras aims to expand its operations while prioritising sustainability and technological innovation.

More than 70% of the allocated capital will be directed towards E&P. Key objectives include the further development of pre-salt reserves in the Santos Basin (US$41bn), revitalising infrastructure in the Campos Basin (US$22bn), and conducting exploration activities in Brazil’s Southeastern Basins, the Equatorial Margin, and offshore Colombia (US$7.5bn). Petrobras views the Equatorial Margin as a promising frontier, with potential exploration successes similar to those seen in the Guyana-Suriname basin.

Prioritising decommissioning activities

In tandem with its expansion plans, Petrobras is prioritising decommissioning activities, earmarking almost US$8bn for green decommissioning in the Campos Basin, involving local shipyards. By 2028, the company aims to decommission 15 out of 23 platforms in this basin alone, with plans to target an additional 40 platforms across the country beyond 2028.


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Expansion through FPSO deployments

Petrobras is set to bolster production capacity by deploying floating production, storage and offloading vessels (FPSOs). With 13 FPSOs scheduled to commence oil production by the end of 2028, the company anticipates exceeding 2bn barrels of oil per day in incremental capacity.

These FPSOs will exploit reserves in fields within the Santos, Campos and Sergipe-Alagoas Basins. At the time of writing, tenders to charter three FPSOs – SEAP I, SEAP II (deadline 14 June 2024) and Barracuda-Caratinga (deadline 1 July 2024) – are open. In early 2024, Petrobras initiated direct negotiations with two companies – Ocyan for the Albacora FPSO and Seatrium for the P-84 and P-85 FPSOs.

More than 70% of Petrobras’ US$102bn investment will be directed towards oil and gas exploration and production

Technological advancements for emissions reduction

The Albacora FPSO will feature emission reduction technologies including a closed flare system, while the P-84 (Atapu) and P-85 (Sépia) platforms, targeting first oil after 2028, are being engineered for full electrification, potentially slashing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30%. However, Brazil’s inaugural FPSO with an all-electric setup will be the Maria Quitéria FPSO, expected to commence production in the Jubarte pre-salt field (Campos Basin) by 2025.

In January 2024, Petrobras awarded TechnipFMC the contract to supply its High-Pressure Separation technology for CO2 separation and reinjection on the seabed, shifting the process away from the topside platform. Apart from emissions reduction, this innovation could enhance production capacity by alleviating bottlenecks in the topside gas processing plant. Petrobras’ proprietary technology is presently undergoing testing at the Duque de Caxias FPSO, part of the third development phase of the Mero pre-salt field, slated to commence oil production in the second half of 2024.

Further innovations, spanning topside and subsea systems, are slated to drive decarbonisation in the forthcoming years. These include flexible pipelines that can withstand increased depths and pressures, subsea electrification, all-electric well completion, rig automation, and pioneering solutions for well abandonment. Digitalisation initiatives such as digital twins will also be integral to this transformation. Petrobras aims to achieve zero routine flaring by 2030 and to have reinjected a cumulative 80m tonnes of CO2 by the end of 2025.


vision for growth - Table-1


Embracing renewable energy and sustainability

With a commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, Petrobras is actively participating in energy transition initiatives alongside other major players.

Its strategic plan allocates substantial funds (US$11.5bn) towards decarbonisation efforts, including ventures in renewable energy, carbon capture and storage (CCS), blue and green hydrogen production and biorefining. Specifically, it aims to acquire 5GW of operational/under development renewable assets by 2028 and has initiated partnerships for wind turbine development, CCS hubs and green hydrogen projects.

In 2023, Petrobras signed a US$26m partnership with national manufacturer WEG for the development of 7MW onshore wind turbines. It has also disclosed plans for a CCS hub in Macaé, Rio de Janeiro, and is investing US$18m in a green hydrogen pilot project in Rio Grande do Norte. Additionally, there are plans to produce renewable diesel (hydrotreated vegetable oil) and BioQAV (sustainable aviation fuel) through dedicated units at the Presidente Bernardes refinery and at the GasLub Cluster. It also has agreements in place with several companies to explore the potential of low-carbon technologies (see table on facing page).


Petrobras refinery brazil


Strengthening local industry

Local enterprises have consistently shown their ability to provide logistics and maintenance services, a trend that looks set to continue into the future. Additionally, local manufacturers play a crucial role in supplying components, fabricated structures and machinery for various projects. The Lula administration’s recent initiatives aim to further enhance the development of local industry, fostering growth and sustainability.

In 2023, Petrobras subsidiary Transpetro unveiled a fleet expansion project involving the construction of 25 transport vessels, including gas carriers, Aframax and Panamax product tankers. These vessels will be constructed in Brazilian shipyards through to 2032, underscoring Petrobras’ pivotal role in bolstering the local naval industry. This project is poised to drive positive economic outcomes, foster technological advancements and enhance infrastructure development.

Recent regulatory changes mandated by the National Energy Policy Council dictate that future auctions organised by the National Petroleum Agency under Concession or Production Sharing regimes must have a local content of 30%, up from 25% – emphasising the focus on domestic industry growth.

Petrobras is prioritising decommissioning activities, earmarking almost US$8bn for green decommissioning in the Campos Basin

Opportunities for global supply chain collaboration

Brazil offers ample business prospects in the oil and gas sector, with opportunities for international businesses specialising in offshore drilling, seismic imaging and reservoir characterisation to collaborate with Petrobras and other industry stakeholders in developing additional reserves. Key EPC contractors through to 2028 include MISC Berhad, SBM Offshore, Yinson, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Seatrium and DSME/Saipem, while main subsea contractors include TechnipFMC, OneSubsea and Subsea7.

As Petrobras continues to navigate the evolving energy landscape, collaboration with global companies renowned for innovation and efficiency will be crucial for the company to realise its strategic goals while promoting worldwide growth and sustainability.

By Lucas Ramos, Energy Analyst (Oil and Gas), EIC South America

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