N.L. suppliers investigating opportunities in Brazil

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Rio conference one of top events for discussion of offshore oil work

Rio de Janeiro will be the site of a major oil and gas conference Sept. 17, one where local players hope to find new opportunities . — Photo by Thinkstock

A delegation from Newfoundland and Labrador will attend the 2012 Rio Oil and Gas Expo and Conference in Brazil, beginning Sept. 17.

The local representatives, including one for the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association (NOIA), will check into the potential to introduce more local products and services into Brazilian offshore exploration and production work.

The event in Rio de Janeiro is one of the world’s premiere oil and gas summits.

The conference centre where the gathering is held, Riocentro, is the largest in Latin America and covers about 100,000 square metres. In 2010, the event hosted 1,300 exhibitors on a wide variety of topics relating to offshore production, along with 4,300 conference delegates and 53,000 total visitors.

 

A project manager with NOIA, Terry Hunt will be the association’s rep at the bi-annual event.

Speaking with The Telegram Thursday, Hunt said he believes there is opportunity for locals South of the border and he will be focused on detailing any regulatory hurdles for local companies looking to enter the market.

While he didn’t want to name company names, there are local companies already working with operators in Brazil, he said, including state oil giant Petrobras.

“There are opportunities there. There are also lots of regulatory opportunities people have to overcome. However that’s one of the goals I’m going to be trying to achieve when I get down there is to understand better the regulatory requirements regarding local content,” he said.

“When you consider the magnitude of work that’s going on there, if you can get a small piece of it, it could be worth it.”

The Rio conference has been taking place since the early 1980s, but there has not always been the same interest in the event from this province, according to Hunt. Growth in the Brazilian economy and new oil finds — paired with some maturation of the province’s oil and gas sector — have played a part in changing that reality.

In a recent guest blog for CNBC, James Dale Davidson, author of “Brazil is the New America,” refered to Brazil as “the world’s first tropical superpower.” Davidson pointed to growth in agriculture, but also the country’s turnaround from importing almost 80 per cent of oil used in the country in 1974, to being an oil exporter as of 2009.

Hunt told The Telegram the proof of Brazil’s oil run is in the numbers.

For example, in 2010 Petrobras put out a call for the construction of eight floating production storage and off-loading vessels (FPSOs).

Hunt said about eight people will represent this province as part of a larger Atlantic Canada delegation to Rio.

The provincial Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development is contributing $35,000 towards travel through its global travel program. In addition, costs associated are being covered by funds from the joint federal-Atlantic international business development agreement.

 

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

Participants from Newfoundland and Labrador heading to the upcoming Rio Oil and Gas Expo and Conference 2012:

•    C-CORE

•    Compusult

•    Marine Industrial Lighting

    Systems

•    Marine Institute

•    OceansAdvance

•    SubC Control

•    Virtual Marine Technology

•    Quest Energy

•    NOIA

(Source: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development)

 

 

Organizations: NOIA, Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association, Petrobras CNBC Department of Innovation Rural Development Quest Energy

Geographic location: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Newfoundland and Labrador Latin America Atlantic Canada New America

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