Brazil Technology Radar 2016 report canvasses the views and insight of more than 200 companies in the Brazilian oil and gas sector
37% of respondents believe the total cost/effort of getting new technology from development to deployment will increase
41% of respondents believe their average recovery rate from existing fields will increase over the next two years
It also reveals that 70% of respondents say the renewables element of Brazil's mandatory 1% levy should be increased
The study points to the continuing challenges of technology adoption, including the cost of development (63%); uncertainty over returns (35%); and uncertainty over oil and gas prices (30%)
In this latest industry report launched today – an extension of the 2015-16 global Technology Radar survey series produced by Lloyd's Register and which last year highlighted key trends in the pace of innovation and the adoption of technology across the world – it reveals that the collapse in the oil price combined with challenging operating conditions between operators, service providers and policymakers in Brazil, has unsurprisingly put serious pressure on the country's oil and gas sector.
The survey asks what the biggest barriers to innovation are. It also indicates a new environmental theme is emerging where alternatives to oil and gas are being considered as part of Brazil's medium-term development for a cleaner, efficient and more balanced energy mix. And a strategic re-think at a number of different levels in the industry suggest that Brazil looks well placed to be one of the world's key energy producers.
Environmental factors are a primary reason for operators investing in innovation
"New measures introduced in the country recently will contribute to a growth in alternative energy options and infrastructures, says Alasdair Buchanan. Energy Director, Lloyd's Register. "It will be these measures that will direct the investments to future energy projects with high social and environmental returns."
New investment opportunities exist for clean technologies, as mirrored by Brazil's development bank which has announced a new funding policy in solar and energy efficient projects, in addition to subsidies for wind, biomass and combined heat and power plants – all areas considered to be a game changing focus for Brazil.
"Brazil's oil and gas industry could experience a period of significant growth if progress can be made on the integrity of the supply chain," says Buchanan. "Respondents have highlighted their concerns in the survey and identified the changes that need to be made to improve the country's supplier base where primary, secondary and tertiary levels rank highest in the feedback from respondents."
Innovation and technology deployment on proven fields a priority focus
The survey revealed there needs to be a greater societal awareness of the positive economic impact that Brazil's oil and gas sector has on a global level. While 74% of oil and gas respondents say that the continued low oil price is putting a dampener on innovation, approaches to economic and trade reforms are ranked high by survey respondents to improve perceptions about doing business in Brazil. It is also evident from the views of respondents that their challenging economic issues need to be addressed, and fast. In part this is already happening helped by the recent legislation and levy on oil and gas production for research and development activity.
Buchanan says: "The oil price slowdown has and is, clearly impacting local investment choices and decisions on operating and innovation initiatives. However, our report finds that there is growing acceptance among operators in Brazil that innovation through research and development, and a route to deployment through Technology Qualification, does have a crucial role to play in helping to achieve expected recovery rates on proven reserves efficiently and cost effectively."
Close to nine out of ten respondents say they have been successful at meeting their innovation goals and objectives over the last two years. Almost a third of respondents say they have been highly successful, meeting or exceeding all of their goals and objectives.
The survey also highlights this is an area that is expected to have more focus over the next two years as companies seek to gain efficiencies from existing or proven fields instead of new exploration activity.
A data mind-set driving new technology
In terms of data collection and analysis, 35% of respondents believe that the amount of data they collect and analyse over the next two years will also increase. It is no surprise that technologies such as 4D seismic flow modelling (46%), Enhanced Oil Recovery (50%) and advances in Floating Storage, Production and Offloading - FPSO - technology (48%) are rated by respondents as incremental improvements on existing technologies and how data can be managed effectively.
Medium term (2018 - 2020), two of the technologies that were selected have already been proven in other sectors namely 3D printing and better automation. Also, fracking fluid composition is viewed as a development with high potential – particularly relevant given the impact fracking has had on the sector as a whole.
Long term (2021 – 2025), the technologies that respondents believe will have most impact are those with long lead times, most of which are at an early stage of development, such as laser drilling and nanotech.
Despite understandable pessimism due to the current challenges in Brazil, the Technology Radar shows that the downturn in the oil price is strengthening the need for increased energy regulation, robust integrity across the supply chain and better operational cost-efficiencies. These unique insights provided in this exclusive report show industry professionals how they can address the challenges in Brazil to better sustain Brazil's global positioning as a key energy provider.