Kenneth Rapoza – Forbes Magazine, 5/3/2015
Call it the shock doctrine, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…well, you get the picture.
Wracked by the biggest corporate scandal in Brazilian history, oil major Petrobras is reducing costs. While it says it is not reducing costs on exploration and production, the state-owned Petrobras is turning to Texas this week to meet with companies that want to help it drill in one of the most lucrative oil finds in the world — Brazil’s deep water, pre-salt oil fields off the coasts of Rio and Sao Paulo states.
As some would have it, this is all part of the plan. Petrobras is in dire straights. Petrobras has too much control over the mega oil fields under rock and sand. And foreign firms want a piece of it without having to give up so much to Petrobras.
Jonathan Watts – The Guardian, 4/30/2015
Four Amazonian tribes have joined forces to oppose the construction of hydroelectric dams in their territory as the Brazilian government ramps up efforts to exploit the power of rivers in the world’s biggest forest.
The Munduruku, Apiaká, Kayabi and Rikbaktsa released a joint statement on Thursday demanding the halt of construction on a cascade of four dams on the Teles Pires – a tributary of the Tapajós.
They say the work at the main area of concern – the São Manoel dam – threatens water quality and fish stocks. The site has already reportedly expanded almost to the edge of a nearby village, although the local communities say they have not been consulted as they obliged to be under national laws and international standards.
EFE – Fox News Latino, 4/30/2015
Petrobras has set a new Brazilian record for exploratory drilling by reaching a water depth of nearly 3,000 meters (9,836 feet), the state-controlled oil giant said.
The 3-BRSA-1296-SES well was drilled to a water depth of 2,988 meters – eight meters more than the 3-SES-184 well Petrobras drilled in February in that same basin – and a total depth of 6,060 meters (19,868 feet).
Only six wells in the world exceed the depth of 3-BRSA-1296-SES, three of which were drilled by India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation in that South Asian nation and three by U.S. energy companies Murphy Oil and Chevron Corp. in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Petrobras said.
Vanessa Dezem – Bloomberg Business, 4/16/2015
Brazil will increase the use of renewable energy, target zero net deforestation and push for low-carbon agriculture as part of its climate proposal, Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said in an interview.
In its proposal to the United Nations climate conference in Paris this year, Latin America’s largest nation will propose ambitious new targets to reduce destruction of the Amazon rainforest, boost reforestation and increase solar, hydro and wind energy. To do so, it will require more foreign capital and technology, Teixeira said in her office in Brasilia.
Over the past decade Brazil has been one of the world’s protagonists in combating climate change, slashing its greenhouse emissions by 41 percent between 2005 and 2012, according to official data. Making further cuts may be more difficult. Emissions from energy generation during the same period rose 36 percent, while the reduction of Amazon deforestation, a major source of carbon emissions, is slowing.
Jack Levine – The Huffington Post, 3/23/2015
Of the many stories I heard about the drought while I was in Brazil earlier this month, one stands out: a colleague was riding the elevator in her building and saw a note from a concerned neighbor. “Dear neighbors,” the note read, “As you know we are in a severe crisis. Everyone must do their part to conserve water. That is why I have decided to only wash my car once per month. I hope everyone else can make a similar sacrifice.”
I had just spent five days in Sao Paulo, visiting electric utility executives to imagine how software technology could better engage their consumers toward addressing the deepening crisis. Twenty million people live in Sao Paulo, which is suffering its worst drought the metropolis has seen in nearly a century. A couple of weeks earlier, during Carnival, some towns in the region had canceled street parades for fear there may not be enough water to clean the streets or cool down the crowds. Officials from Sao Paulo’s water utility, Sabesp, had already begun rationing water.
The last time Brazil faced a water crisis of this magnitude, a small private utility – the Sao Paulo Railway and Light Company – was at work constructing the foundation of a modern infrastructure to supply water and power. Today, Brazil’s system of reservoirs and dams provide not just drinking water; they supply more than three-quarters of its electricity generating capacity. So as the Cantareira’s stores fluctuated like a dollar stock – dipping to just five percent of capacity in early February – Brazil’s utilities braced for an energy crisis.
Sergio Fausto – The German Marshall Fund of the United States, 2/27/2015
Brazil’s future prospects, and ability to harness its advantages, will hinge on its own policy choices over the next few years. Yet the outlook for meaningful change is unclear. At present, Brazil is in a weaker position than four years ago, from both an economic and a foreign policy standpoint. Even in a scenario where Brazil’s economy gradually returns to the course it was on until 2008, no major strategic changes are likely to happen in Rousseff’s four-year term.
A Brazilian prosecutor sought to block a possible government leniency deal with construction and engineering companies implicated in a giant bribery and money laundering scheme at state-run oil company Petrobras, according to a document published Saturday on a Brazilian news site.
The letter requests an injunction to stop Brazil’s comptroller general from approving any leniency deals with the companies, on the grounds that such a move could obstruct the police investigation.
Reuters reported on Friday that a number of companies alleged to be involved in the corruption scheme were seeking such deals, which could allow them to continue bidding for state contracts.