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2013 Oil & Gas Industry Perspectives


Brazil is heralded as the largest and most significant new oil and gas prospect of the last few decades. However, there is still a long way to go to realize the promise of a new non-OPEC stable source of supply in the top 5 world oil producers by 2020. Progress toward this ambitious target has been slow in the last year, as project development, execution and political risks have taken their toll ...

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The Argentine Dream

Shale Oil and Gas

It’s been an exciting and ultimately strange year in the world of Argentine oil and gas. In 2011, the country catapulted into the industry’s limelight when the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that Argentina had the third-largest technically recoverable resources of shale gas in the world, behind only the US and China, most of it within the Vaca Muerta (Dead Cow) shale in the Neuquén Basin within the western provinces of Neuquén and Mendoza. Having seen how the shale revolution rejuvenated the US oil and gas sector in the last decade, the global industry’s major players began positing themselves to enter Argentine shale ...

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Getting into Deep Water in Brazil

Ultra-Deep Water Offshore Discoveries

Recent ultra-deep water offshore discoveries are reconfirming Brazil as the largest and most significant new oil and gas prospect of the last few decades. Brazil produces around 2.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, including biofuels, ranking 9th among oil producing countries today. Meanwhile, Petrobras is forecasting daily production of 6.4 million barrels by 2020, which would place Brazil in the top 5 globally. The aggressive targets particularly for the deep-water development over the next 10 years will require as much as US$1 trillion investment, in an extraordinary undertaking ...

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Investing in Brazilian Oil

ALI Talks with Will Honeybourne of First Reserve

In the last half-decade, after a series of discoveries of enormous fields in the so-called pre-salt layer beneath the ocean off its south-east coast, Brazil has jumped to elite status among oil-rich nations. It is still unknown exactly how much oil and gas are contained in the discovered fields, and how many more undiscovered fields there might be, but the general consensus is that the quantities will make Brazil a leading oil producer and exporter in years to come.  Petrobras, the partly state-owned oil and gas giant, has already committed to investing US$224 billion in development through 2014 ...

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Investing in Lithium

Commodities Investment in Latin America

 The lithium industry has seen a sharp rise in investor interest in recent years. Forecasts from the likes of Credit Suisse and Byron Capital Markets are bullish and see demand for the metal rising significantly in the coming decade. The main reason behind the enthusiasm is that lithium is the crucial element in the dominant battery technology of the burgeoning electric car industry, and many expect it to remain so as that industry takes off. A race to supply this demand is underway, and investors are looking to Chile and Argentina, two established leaders in lithium mining and … 

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Brazil's Energy Investment in the Wake of a New South

Discussing Brazil's renewable energy strategies and cooperation with China

 In the last few years, the global geopolitical scene has changed very quickly. Although this is not proof that American hegemony is shaken, there are indications that other countries are gaining more prominence, and thus enforcing their demands with more power. According to Fareed Zakaria, in the last years, we have seen the rise of the rest, and this rest has at its forefront the BRIC countries, especially China and India. Due to their quick economic growth and the potential that they have - both material and human - these countries have increasingly been bringing to the global agenda … 

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Sowing pools: Argentine alternative financing model for agriculture

Alternative financing model for agriculture investment in Argentina

Three decades ago, soybean production was a niche activity in Argentina. Since then the country has become the third largest producer and exporter of the commodity globally.  Between 2001/02 and 2009/10 alone, soybean production grew by 49%. Sunflower production also grew exponentially during this period. What makes this feat so impressive is that it happened despite the crippling lack of credit in the domestic financial system; a situation which has been very acute since Argentina defaulted on its national debt in 2002. The huge increase in production in Argentina was facilitated by the diffusion of technology and new farming method … 

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The BP oil spill and the future of the Brazilian oil industry

The BP oil spill and the future of the Brazilian oil industry

 Currently there exists a ghost of uncertainty in regards to the world oil scene. If, in recent years, discussions surrounding the climate emissions of greenhouse gases guided the prospects of declining consumption and production in the world, clearly we now have a new element.In the course of exploration, the oil spill from the field of Macondo in the Gulf of Mexico, investigated by BP, suffered a blowout of drastic consequences. This is undoubtedly a fact that will have serious repercussions on the activity of exploring and producing oil. The accident is now considered the industry’s largest, surpassing … 

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Chinese Brazilian Trade Ties Continue to Grow

Commodity Trade Ties between China and Brazil

In April, China and Brazil signed various trade agreements with the objective of boosting two-way trade between the two countries. In particular Presidents Hu and Da Silva signed a 5-year action plan to increase trade and energy cooperation.Since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2002, Brazil’s exports to China have grown at 23% per annum, faster than during the 1989-2009 period at 18%. Brazilian imports from China have grown at 26% per annum since 1989. Recently China overtook the USA to become Brazil’s number one trading partner. As of May 2010 exports to China … 


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Chinese Boycott of Argentina Soybean Oil

Investing in Argentine Soybean oil

In early April China’s Ministry of Commerce banned imports of soybean oil from Argentina as a part of a wider trade dispute. The dispute initially stemmed from Argentina’s move to place a trade barrier on imports from China, which then spiraled into China taking retaliatory measures, including the boycott of Argentina soybean oil. According to a report from an Argentine newspaper (Ambito) dated April 6, Chinese Ambassador to Argentina, Gang Zeng stressed that the dispute was not a commercial or political retaliation, but due to the low-quality of Argentine’s soybean oil. China Daily, in an article dated … 

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Pre-salt: What now?

How pre-salt discoveries are changing the Brazilian oil industry

 This event marked an important moment for the Brazilian oil industry, because recent discoveries in the world oil scene have been rare and also because Brazil has always carried the title of eternal latecomer in the race for oil. The Brazilian oil industry was, until then, a classic case of sudden success but with limited potential. So when their country arrived on the pre-salt scene, Brazilians began to dream of fabulous trajectories of economic development financed by the excessive reserves that surely rested under the water, just waiting to be converted to a new “oil El Dorado.” … 

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Cuba Mining

A look at Cuba's history of mining extending over a period of three hundred years

 Cuba has a history of mining extending over a period of three hundred years. During the period 1900 to 2002, mining was a permanent activity, and during WWII the mining of manganese, some copper, and nickel was most important. The nickel resource comes from extensive laterite deposits that are considered among the largest reserves in the world, ranking alongside Canada, Russia, Australia and New Caledonia. Cuba is also an important nickel and cobalt producer, ranking sixth in the world in terms of nickel and accounting for 8% of the world's cobalt production … 

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Chavez And The Diminishing Return - Part One

How Hugo Chavez has affected the political landscape in Venezuela

 Since coming to power in 1998, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has not only transformed the political landscape of his own country and influenced the populist movement of South America, but he has also dramatically impacted investment and its outlook. Chavez’s power base has made the prospect of investing (and even preserving) money in Venezuela a complicated affair, and unfortunately it is becoming an increasingly difficult riddle. Chavez during the height of the boom in oil prices found himself in a politically powerful and cash-rich position, able to spend money for pet projects and military rather carelessly … 

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Precious Things in Peru

Opportunities in the Peruvian gold market for the small to medium scale investor

 Peru is an interesting country in that it has been forged by the Conquistadors, brought into modern times by the Japanese (including a famous Peruvian leader with Japanese DNA) and may fall into the orbit of Mainland China. Peru, like many Latin American countries, can indeed be seen as a natural resource colony for Asia’s emerging power houses. According to an NGO worker based in Costa Rica, “America is losing power by the day and is no longer able to keep China out of Central and South America, nor Russia for that matter … 

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