Angola + Brazil = The World’s First Supermajor from The Developing World

Via Stratfor (subscription required), a highly interesting report about an emerging partnership between state-owned Angolan oil company Sonangol and Petróleo Brasileiro (Petrobras).  The results could transform the global oil industry as any Brazilian-Angolan cooperation could herald the large-scale entry of Petrobras into the Angolan offshore, giving the world its first (but certainly not last) supermajor from the developing world.  As Stratfor notes:

“…The idea that Sonangol is capable of doing much of anything abroad is a bit dubious. Angola only emerged from its damning civil war a few short years ago, and it is utterly incapable of doing any but the most basic of operations in onshore environments. Nearly all of Angola’s oil is produced offshore by the various global supermajors, not onshore by Sonangol.

…Petrobras is not just another underperforming developing-world state firm, but a partially privatized company that is well-managed and technically capable. Any Brazilian-Angolan cooperation could herald the large-scale entry of Petrobras into the Angolan offshore.

Technically, Petrobras already has been involved in that offshore since the 1980s, but its investments are tiny. For the past 20 years Petrobras has been learning the deepwater craft closer to home, and recent major discoveries in the Brazilian offshore — specifically the mammoth Tupi field — place Petrobras on the cusp of becoming a proper supermajor in its own right.

That would give the world its first supermajor from a developing state — sparking off not only a scramble for resources, but also a reconsideration by every developing country in the world of its current business agreements with the existing supermajors. Many states are resentful of the power the supermajors and their home governments wield, and only allow the supermajors to operate on their territory because they lack other options. Petrobras could ascend and give them that option after it gains a few years of fresh expertise working on Tupi, and then applies that expertise to a large chunk of acreage in a promising region — a region such as Angola.”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 1st, 2008 at 11:23 am and is filed under Angola, Brazil, Petroleo Brasileiro, Sonangol.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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