Case studies for potential Peak Oil curves, using Hubbert's models were prepared during the last decades for Brazilian oil production, at the time considering mature fields and the new pre-salt discoveries, however, since then, there has been mostly a lack of updated and new data and modeling to estimate a new peak curve for Brazilian production, which now take into account not only newer and better determined pre-salt reserves, but also new reserves in both the equatorial margin, the Potiguar basin, shale gas in the Paraná and Amazonas basins, and the more significant presence of natural gas in the Solimões basin, as well as the possible unconventional reserves. Also, a dimmer economic growth, new regulations in bidding rounds, and technical delays that have slowed expected production targets have all contributed to a new production forecast scenario, one that demands an updated set of Peak Oil curves for Brazil's basins as well as from a national perspective. Previous models estimated Brazil's Peak Oil curve point somewhere along the mid 2000 decade, however, this paper intends to demonstrate, through mathematical models based on Hubbert's model, that despite delays in new bidding rounds and production targets, that Brazil's new oil, and gas, peak curve has now dramatically shifted. Furthermore, this paper also takes a brief approach on the subject of Brazil's dependence on crude and gas imports and its relation with a new Peak Oil curve. And although it is likely that newer data from upcoming bidding rounds will shift such estimated curve, it is believed that a newer model, for illustration purposes, will indeed shear some light on where Brazil actually stands with self-sufficiency as well as a new growing global player in terms of reserves and production.
This paper analyses and updates previous models for the productive lifecycle of oil reserves in Brazil through corrections and the proposal of a new model, closer to current and expected future production. As in previous models, previously available historical records were also considered as a source of data, as well as updated data on production and oil reserves in Brazil, as published by the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), National Petroleum Agency (ANP) and Petrobras. Aside from reusing and updating previous sources, in order to ensure greater fidelity to this new model, the following comparative sources were also added or considered: the latest Decennial Expansion Plan (PDE) from the Energy Research Company (EPE) and Petrobras' latest public Business Plan. Assumptions previously considered by past models as well as the implications of their mathematical modeling were reviewed and re-examined. Thus, when needed, new premises were developed, and a new model was created based on the theory of the "Hubbert Curve", elaborating various production curves for Brazil considering diverse possible scenarios.
The development of this paper comes as a reaction to the absence of updated models that could more accurately and realistically show how uncertain it would be, according to the existing mathematical models and current reserve estimates, define a peak oil at this stage of Brazil's oil production lifecycle.
Given the recent global changes that unconventional oil and gas sources have brought in terms of redefining the amount and location of world reserves, it then becomes necessary to establish and define new production peaks and self-sufficiency projections for countries, including Brazil.