Drilling and reservoirs, the subsea factory, topside equipment and environmental technology are topics in focus as the first joint call between Finep and The Research Council of Norway is coming up.
RD&I collaboration between Norway and Brazil and the upcoming first joint call was discussed in a workshop in Rio de Janeiro from March 1-2, 2016. The deadline for presenting drafts is March 23, 2016 and by May 25, the applications must be ready and submitted. A total of 10 million NOK is available to the companies.
The workshop was a preparatory activity for the joint calls between Finep and RCN, and several new companies were invited to participate.
«Many of the participants are in the process of preparing their drafts, and we wanted to encourage them and give them the chance to clear up and remove any doubts they might have. We are always trying to broaden the horizon and have invited companies we have met in the process of promoting the joint call. We know how difficult it is to find the right partner. There has to be a synergy, but a partnership between a Norwegian and a Brazilian company is a condition for applying for funds, and our expectations our high», Mauricio Syrio, head of the oil and gas department at Finep, says.
The presentations during the workshop demonstrated a broad consensus on what should be focus areas in the project outlines that companies will now work out, and this was something several of the speakers emphasized in their presentations.
Reduction of the environmental impact and level of risk related to petroleum activities, higher recovery rates from new and existing fields and more environmentally sound and cost-effective drilling and well technology are among the overall goals that should come out of the cross-border research collaboration.
Rune Andersen, representing The Research Council of Norway, stated that Brazil is a priority to the council.
«Collaboration between Norway and Brazil within petroleum R,D&I is not something new. The last ten years we have had 60 projects in various sectors, but 53 percent where linked to the oil and gas sector. For the 2016 Joint Call, subsea technology, increased oil recovery and environmental technology should me focus areas.»
Priority will also be given to small and medium sized companies, the so-called SMES.
A perfect fit to business developer Alexandre Vilanova, one of the participants at the workshop.
«I will submit an application for a client that I represent, and I am here to get information», he says.
The workshop was held at BNDES in downtown Rio de Janeiro, and BNDES representative Rodrigo Bacellar calls Norway an important partner to Brazil. BNDES is the main provider of long-term financing in Brazil, and the development bank also supports innovation and small and medium sized companies (SMES).
Mr. Bacellar talked about the different financing instruments for innovation in Brazil and both Finep and BNDES play important, but complementary parts.
«The Brazilian oil and gas industry is in a transition phase, but the industry will adapt and going forward, focus must be on technological challenges like top side equipment, down hole, subsea systems and reservoirs. It is important to be flexible at this point, to work towards reducing costs and increasing efficiency. The subsea factory will be fundamental for the development of pre-salt. Collaboration is also fundamental, and BNDES is prepared to support the industry», Mr. Bacellar said.
Intsok would like the companies to focus their efforts on drilling, subsea solutions and maritime offshore services.
«Pre-salt opens the door to more R&D. Several international companies have set up research facilities in Rio. Petrobras is leading the way at Cenpes», Brazil adviser at Intsok, Adhemar Freire said. Intsok works to promote Norwegian oil and gas interests abroad, and the 250 Intsok partners keep and increasing focus on internationalization.
The export promotion and investment attraction agency Apex Brasil was also represented at the event. Looking at the trade balance between Norway and Brazil, Apex Brasil representative Sérgio Ferreira calls Brazil a window of opportunities to Norwegian companies, due to the local content requirements. «Those who establish here will be a step ahead of competition», he said.
Mauricio Syrio, Finep.Matchmaking
The purpose of the workshop was to present the policy instruments and programs related to RD&I in the field of oil and gas, both in Brazil and Norway. Shedding the light on the experiences from the industry and research community that have been financially supported by Brazilian ad Norwegian government institutions were also on the agenda.
The workshop also included a matchmaking session where companies presented themselves and technologies they have developed, in order to hopefully catch the interest of other participants – as a first step to future collaboration.
On March 2, 2016, Petrobras executive Eduardo Santos and Statoil research director Fabiano Lobato opened Day 2. Representatives from companies like EMBRAER, FMC, Aker Solutions and WEG talked about technology needs and solutions.
«This interaction is important, and we hope to create a meeting place for potential partners. You have companies presenting their innovative technologies, what they do and what they can offer and other companies showing their technological needs. Many of the participants are companies that are working on their applications, and we hope this workshop will stimulate further collaboration», Mauricio Syrio says.
By Runa Hestmann, NBCC journalist