E&P companies in Brazil are required to invest in R&D projects with Brazilian universities as part of the special participation fee. Industry wide, this levy is expected to be cumulatively worth USD 10 Billion by the year 2022 and therefore the need exists for E&P companies to maximise value obtained through these R&D investments by understanding the full extent of the R&D capability within Brazil. A comprehensive and independent analysis of the E&P research capabilities of leading Brazilian R&D institutions has been carried out. The resulting R&D Landscape Map can now help the decision making process by identifying and selecting R&D institutions with the capability and resource capacity to deliver world-class results. Three E&P companies have recently collaborated with a firm of consultants to develop this R&D Landscape Map, a unique undertaking which has never been completed to this level of detail. This paper highlights some of the key results and conclusions from this multi-operator project, which comprised three phases of work. These phases included the development of an international university benchmarking diagnostic, primary research amongst Brazilian universities, and subsequent analysis and benchmarking. In the first phase, seven ‘world-class’ oil and gas research universities were visited in the USA and Europe. The objective of these visits was to create a calibrated diagnostic for assessing world-class excellence for conducting research across three dimensions - quality of working together, quality of resources, and track record. In the second phase, detailed visits were made to 48 shortlisted E&P research departments in Brazil, in order to carry out an independent and comprehensive assessment of their R&D resources, including staff and facilities. Finally, an assessment was made of how well the Brazilian research groups compare to their US/ European counterparts using key performance indicators. Recommendations were made as to how value may be maximised from this huge investment in R&D, for the benefit of all stakeholders including the government, E&P companies, universities and research organisations, and the Brazilian people.


In recent times, pre-salt exploration in Brazil has seen some of the largest and most exciting discoveries in the world. The total reserves discovered are estimated to be anywhere between 70 to 100 billion barrels of oil equivalent. The first oil produced from the pre-salt layer was extracted from the Jubarte field off the southern coast of the State of EspÍrito Santo in September 2008 and production from the pre-salt reserves has been increasing gradually. Currently Brazil is producing 100,000 barrels per day of oil from its deepwater pre-salt fields, but it is targeting a tenfold increase to 1 million barrels per day by 2017 (Beckman, 2011).

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