A new partnership between ANP (National Petroleum Agency), Ibama (National Environmental Agency) and the Brazilian Navy, plans to upgrade and expand existing E&P safety measures, in order to prevent major oil spills in Brazil.
According to Haroldo Lima, Director of ANP, presently Petrobras elaborates the contingency programs for each platform, but now the Brazilian government will launch a nationwide contingency plan led by the navy and involving the regulatory agency and the environmental agency.
Although Lima emphasizes that the current safety systems and regulatory systems in place on offshore platforms in Brazil are among the most advanced in the world, he admits there will certainly be upgrades due to the Deepwater Horizon tragedy at the GOM. At the same time he alerts that Brazil speed up its pre-salt and post salt exploration programs, at the risk of having the oil and gas lose market value in the near future with the increased use of alternate energy sources, which undoubtedly will be increasing worldwide following the GOM accident. Plans also call for speeding up onshore oil and gas E&P, as there is also believed to be a big potential for large onshore plays in Brazil. All this potential will be necessary to further develop the country and help reduce poverty in Brazil.
It is believed that Brazil and Norway have the most stringent platform safety and regulatory systems and also the most experience in deepwater drilling and production. A good example is the pre-salt exploration in Brazil where 80 wells have been drilled with no major accidents. The conclusion is that safety and security still need to be increased, but not at the expense of stopping or even decreasing exploration and production.
One of the new facts in the regulatory context will be the participation of the Bureau Veritas, certification society, which will directly reflect on more time that ANP engineers will spend aboard platforms. According to ANP, last year ANP engineers spent an average of 80 weeks aboard platforms.
Although it is not yet clear how this partnership will work, there is no doubt that it will be far reaching and fundamental in order to increase the rhythm of E&P in the Brazilian pre-salt and post salt plays. Hopefully we will soon have a more in-depth look at these plans and how they differ from the current systems in place.
Photo courtesy of Petrobras