The Brazilian Continental Shelf is a key offshore market for Norwegian oil and gas companies, State Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, Mr. Kåre Fostervold, stated during his second visit to Rio de Janeiro in less than a year.
In this interview with Nordic Light he talks about how he values the close contact with the Norwegian Brazilian Chamber of Commerce and his admiration for the technological breakthroughs that Brazil is doing on deep water.
NL: How was your meeting with NBCC during your stay in Rio?
KF: The NBCC is an important meeting place for the Norwegian industry in Brazil, and NBCC members represent a substantial share of Norwegian business interests. This makes the contact with NBCC very valuable to me. These are stakeholders that have a lot of insight, which is an important prerequisite for productive meetings with Brazilian organizations and government. I am impressed by what Norwegian companies and research institutions have achieved so far, and also with how these stakeholders can take part in the future development of the Brazilian continental shelf.
NL: What did the Deputy Minister appreciate the most during his stay?
KF: The Norwegian presence in Brazil is simply impressive, and many Norwegian players have a long-term perspective on this market. I have also had productive meetings with key Brazilian stakeholders such as the Brazilian Petroleum Agency (ANP), BNDES and the Brazilian innovation agency FINEP. Since I signed the research and technology agreement in the field of oil and gas with MCTI last year, called the BN21, I find it important to move from words to action, to ensure that Brazil and Norway together can take part in the development of the next generation of offshore technology and competence.
NL: How important is Brazil to Norwegian industry, mainly for the offshore and maritime industry?
KF: Brazil is forecasted to be the world´s largest offshore market in the years to come, followed by Norway. We face many of the same technological challenges. The pre-salt discoveries demand huge investments, and there is a great potential for collaboration between Norwegian and Brazilian industry and research institutions. Brazil is the second largest international market for the Norwegian offshore supply and service industry, with revenues amounting to 31 billion Norwegian kroners in 2013 (around 4.5 billion USD). Rig and drilling services are the main segments for Norwegian supply and service industry in Brazil. But Brazil is not only an important international offshore market. It is also a global laboratory for research and technology, pushing the technological barrier further, particularly in deeper waters – and below deep layers of salt. We have a lot to learn from Brazil.
NL: What does the Deputy Minister see as the biggest challenges for Norwegian stakeholders in Brazil the next few years?
KF: Norwegian companies see good business opportunities in the Brazilian market, and they are dedicated to complying with the Brazilian local content requirements. Pre-salt is a great opportunity for Brazil, and the main challenge, as I see it, is to solve the significant technological challenges in the most effective manner. Cooperation is important. I hope Norway and Norwegian stakeholders; both the industry and the research institutions, can be good partners to Brazil in the development of the oil and gas industry.
By Runa Hestmann, NBCC journalist
Photo courtesy of OED/Håkon Mosvold Larsen/NTB Scanpix