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Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME)

Bento Albuquerque reaffirms his optimism in the face of the crisis and bets on the resumption of the country after the pandemic

05/21/2020 | 17h07
Bento Albuquerque reaffirms his optimism in the face of the crisis and bets on the resumption of the country after the pandemic
Bruno Spada, MME Bruno Spada, MME

The Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque (photo), participating yesterday, 20, in a live organized by the Brazilian Institute of Oil, Gas and Biofuels (IBP), maintained his optimism regarding the confrontation of the crisis caused by the world pandemic and bet better and more profitable days for the country in the future. At the event, entitled “Dialogues of Rio Oil & Gas - The geopolitics of the crisis and the impacts of the coronavirus on the energy sector in Brazil”, Bento Albuquerque spoke about the ongoing actions within the scope of the MME, about the importance of measures aimed at improving the business environment to attract new investments, on the single exploration regime, the natural gas market, among other topics, and reaffirmed its good prospects for the post-pandemic recovery.



Bento Albuquerque began his speech by pointing out that the world is currently experiencing an unprecedented crisis and that, in the case of Brazil, it demanded an improvement in governance by the central government. The minister spoke about the various actions that have been implemented by the MME in order to reduce the impacts of the pandemic on the country's energy and mining sector. Among these actions are the creation of a crisis cabinet, specific crisis committees for each sector linked to the MME: electric, oil, gas and biofuels and mining, as well as ordinances, and resolutions, the result of tireless work, with meetings daily and weekly virtual meetings since March, when the pandemic was announced.


"We are now working with all sectoral agents, all bodies linked to the ministry, regulatory agencies, so that we can take the necessary measures and to be prepared for the improvement of the business environment" stated the minister, who classified the year 2019 " as a beautiful example ”, with emphasis on the oil and biofuels sector.


“Since taking over the government, we have established four pillars: governance, legal and regulatory security, respect for contracts and predictability. This is essential for the country to have an attractive business environment so that it can attract investments. This does not mean that we cannot improve this business environment. And this is another opportunity that the crisis is bringing us, so that we can make this improvement ”, said Bento Albuquerque.


The minister also highlighted the importance of all actions for the resumption after the crisis. "We are maintaining our priority actions with a view to increasing our oil production, particularly on land, as we have programs for this, and some actions have already been taken," he declared, recalling the expansion of biofuel production: "we are having , this year, the largest sugarcane crop that Brazil has ever had, with the largest production of ethanol. And we have to preserve that, which I consider to be the country's heritage, the component of biofuel in our energy matrix ”.


Operating regimes 

Asked about the possibility of the return of the single exploitation regime, Bento Albuquerque stated that "the government is, indeed, looking for a single exploitation regime and that, for this, conversations with the National Congress have already started". “This is a great opportunity for us to work on the issue of exploitation regimes. We already had a program in progress, and now it has become a priority action of the Pro Brasil program, ”emphasized the minister, who recalled that bills on the subject were being discussed in the National Congress. "We understand that, at first, which may even be in the very short term, we can already refer this decision to the National Energy Policy Council," said Bento Albuquerque, optimistically.


“We are reviewing our entire program for improving our tenders and we had important lessons last year, mainly in the auction of Surplus on Transfer of Rights. We suspended the auctions, except for the Transfer of Rights for the next year, of Sépia and Atapu, but with practically total reduction of uncertainties. So - he added - we have a schedule, a plan, and we will stick to it, we will create a competitive business environment. There is an understanding on the part of the government and the National Congress that this is no longer a necessity but an opportunity ”.


Natural gas 

On the live, Bento Albuquerque also nodded positively in relation to the natural gas market, remembering that 13 states of the Federation have already joined the Novo Mercado de Gás program. The minister confirmed that the referred PL is in the Federal Government's PróBrasil program and that weekly National Congress are contacted so that the PL can be approved in this first semester, both in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Federal Senate. “Petrobras, which is the dominant agent, is already entering into new contracts at a cost 30% lower than it was in 2019, that is, it is an opportunity during the cyclical crisis, but it is being important to motivate the implementation of the New Market of Gas ”, highlighted the minister.



We have space for everyone! 

Bento Albuquerque said he met this week with President Bolsonaro and Economy Minister Paulo Guedes. The meeting's agenda was the question of exploitation regimes and the strategy to conduct this process. "President Bolsonaro is aware, motivated and is sure of the importance of this for our country" declared the minister. "We saw the reduction in oil production and, on the other hand, we saw that Petrobras increased its exports and broke the record for crude oil exports in April, considering the quality of our oil that has a low sulfur content", he pointed out, excited. “It is also our concern to preserve our companies. It is fundamental for our exploration of oil onshore and also taking into account the divestment that Petrobras is carrying out. We have space for everyone, for big, majors, small and medium-sized companies! And I am sure that we will come out of this crisis in a better business environment for investments ”.


Bento Albuquerque expressed his concern regarding the post-pandemic resumption, but ended his participation in the live reaffirming his optimism and his belief in better days in the future. “We have solid planning tools such as our Decennial Energy Plan (PDE) and the National Energy Plan (PNE), 30 years old, and we will adapt them to our post-pandemic actions. This is how Brazil is preparing itself in the energy and mining sector to face and resume our economic growth after this crisis ”, concluded the minister.


The live was mediated by the president of the IBP, Clarissa Links and the Senior Vice President Global Energy, IHS Markit, Carlos Pascual.

Font: T&B Petroleum/Press Office MME
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