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  • Regional Report - Latin America: Latin America presents severe contrasts with discoveries in Brazil and Colombia attracting investment, but Venezuela and Argentina looking inward due to nationalism. Cuba has opened licensing to the West, but Falklands exploration activity fuels political tension.


    Dayse Abrantes

    Despite the fact that Brazil’s oil reserves are second to those of Venezuela, a member of OPEC, there is no doubt that Brazil is the shining star of Latin America’s petroleum sector. Brazil’s massive pre-salt discoveries, estimated at 50 billion to 100 billion bbl, are catapulting this country from its current 11th rank to become one of the top five oil producers within a decade. Today, Brazil has the world’s largest number of offshore drilling rigs. According to Brazil’s National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANP), there were 337 offshore and onshore drilling rigs in Brazil in 2011. By December 2011, 112 drilling projects were in progress, 76 completed, and 20 were under evaluation. In 2020, Petrobras expects to have 65 drilling rigs for water depths greater than 6,500 ft, said ANP.

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