Governing Brazil's Pre-Salt Oil Resources

November 3, 2009 • 8:30 – 10:00 pm EST

With a series of pre-salt oil discoveries in 2007, Brazil now stands at the crossroads of what could be a major turning point for the future of its oil production.  This session, hosted by the CSIS Energy and National Security Program, provided an overview of the pre-salt oil resources as well a variety of views on the proposed legal and regulatory framework.

Beginning with the discovery of the Tupi oil field in the Santos Basin, estimated to contain 5-8 billion barrels of recoverable oil and gas reserves, several other fields, Carioca, Iara, Guara, etc., have caused estimates of the pre-salt resource base to climate as high as 56 billion barrels of oil equivalent.  Pre-salt discoveries will add significantly to Brazil’s reserve base of 14 billion barrels and could have an important impact on the world oil outlook as one of the few significant non-OPEC resource discoveries.  Exploitation of these resources is far from certain however.  There are many questions about the cost and timing of bringing on such technically and economically challenging areas of production.  The most pressing near-term question is about the legal and regulatory framework governing the exploration and production of the resource.  

Introduction and Welcome
Frank Verrastro, Director and Senior Fellow,
Energy and National Security Program, CSIS

Panel Presentations and Discussion
Ted Helms
Executive Manager of Investor Relations, Petrobras

Chris Garman
Director & Practice Head, Latin America, Eurasia Group

Annette Hester
Senior Associate, CSIS Simon Chair in Political Economy

Moderated by:
Sarah Ladislaw
Fellow, Energy and National Security Program, CSIS

Sarah Ladislaw

Sarah Ladislaw

Former Senior Associate (Non-resident), Energy Security and Climate Change Program
Adam B. Mausner

Adam B. Mausner

Senior Associate (Non-resident), International Security Program