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Brazil's Three Natural Gas Systems: Sources, Markets, Regulations, and Business Perspectives

Jean-Paul Terra Prates, Oil & Gas Development in Latin America (1999)

After fifty years of state monopoly on oil and gas activities and of secondary role for natural gas in the country's energy mix, Brazil finally starts looking seriously at natural gas as a important alternative source of energy to help matching the rising demand expected in the future.

Brazilian exploration and production now consider natural gas as a valuable result, pipeline projects proliferate throughout the national territory, markets start to become a tangible reality and regulations are expected to be modern and flexible. Apart from the well known Bolivia-Brazil pipeline, other important projects are gaining importance, such as the Northeastern market and the Argentina-Brazil connection, also not forgetting the old dream of bring viability to the Amazonian reserves.

The new scenario for natural gas activities in Brazil is still under construction. However, it already gives positive signs to both investors and consumers. The perspectives are therefore extremely interesting.

This paper defines, for the first time, three distinct natural gas systems within Brazil, pointing out the basic characteristics and indicators for each of them. It also outlines the approach that has been taken by the Brazilian government through its National Petroleum Agency (ANP) to regulate the natural gas sector in Brazil aiming at building a competitive market, with sou