ARPEL CONFERENCE: EXPERTS FORECAST RISING INVESTMENT IN OIL AND GAS UNTIL 2025
During the second day of ARPEL 2022 Conference –a meeting organized by the Association of Oil, Gas and Renewable Energy Companies in Latin America and the Caribbean– the most important leaders in the sector gathered in Lima, Peru, to analyze the transition, and confirmed that a future with renewable energy and less carbon emissions will not renounce to oil and gas as primary supply sources.
In this context, Latin America has the potential opportunity to continue progressing as a reliable global energy supplier. Therefore, the region needs to strengthen its investment in exploration, which according to the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), at present only represents 6% of the global investment. Moreover, regulatory frameworks and stable public policies are required in a moment of strong competition to obtain capital around the world.
“The fast energy transition does not mean that Latin America will quit leveraging its hydrocarbon wealth”, said former President of Colombia ANH Armando Zamora during the Hydrocarbon Institution Panel, focused on promoting exploration during energy transitions.
“Because the future of energy will go hand in hand with gas and oil”, added Marta Vieira Abrao, General Manager for Exploration Application & Data Technologies for Petrobras. In turn, Brazil ANP CEO Rodolfo Henrique de Saboia, commented: “We cannot afford to live without fossil fuels because they will still be important in the energy matrix of the years to come”.
Additionally, specialists believe that Latin America has shown a strong commitment to decarbonization and climate change mitigation, since one third of their energy matrix comes from renewable sources and their greenhouse effect gas emissions barely represent 8% of the world’s total. “Latin America is the greenest region in the world”, said Medardo Cadenas, OLADE’s Director for Studies, Projects and Information.
In this sense, Annand Jagesar, Staatsoile’s CEO in Surinam, emphasized that “Latin America deserves to guarantee its energy security by using fossil fuels.”
Thus, as of 2025, “we will see a growing market that will support long-term investments, particularly in Latin America”, asserted Rystad Energy’s Senior VP and Manager for Latin America Schreiner Parker. The reason? Until 2030, the planet will demand an average of 63 million oil barrels a day.
In this scenario, how could Latin America increase its international gas market share?
Regarding this topic, Rafik Amara, Senior Gas Market Analyst at the GECF, explained: “Latin America and the Caribbean are already in the international natural gas market. To increase their presence, they need a higher volume of investment in exploration and production.”
Amara pointed out that the opportunities for Latin America at an international level are diverse and depend on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects in countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Peru, Suriname, Mexico and Argentina, among others, as well as on the integration through gas pipeline networks across the continent.
Moreover, the region is believed to be entering a period in which the future of exploration and production is also in offshore fields. To confirm this, Rystad Energy data show a 17% increase in Latin American offshore investment until 2025.
However, this investment in hydrocarbon production – required to meet the oncoming demand– must be accompanied by decarbonization actions. This is the case of Colombian company Ecopetrol, which, as explained by its VP for Exploration Elsa Jaimes, aims at reducing carbon emissions to zero by 2050, with a diversified business model that involves hydrocarbons and renewable energies.
THE REGIONAL DOWNSTREAM IS STRENGTHENED WITH TALARA REFINERY
The future of refinery and downstream in Latin America and the Caribbean was also included in the agenda of the second day of the ARPEL 2022 Conference.
The presence of Walter Cánova, VP of Refinery and Industrial Processes at Ecopetrol; Claudia Kalamar, ANCAP’s Refinery Manager; Alejandro Vago, Raízen’s Refinery Director; Fabián Lombardi, Downstrem Technical Manager for PAE/Axion; and Gustavo Chaab, YPF’s Executive Officer for Refinery, granted the required level to a panel that discussed the present and future challenges of this part of the hydrocarbon production chain.
In this regard, the day facilitated a deeper knowledge of the Talara Refinery streamlining project addressed by Petroperú. The Refinery Manager Oscar Vera said that this project is the door to a new era in Peruvian downstream.
Built under the highest international standards, Talara is considered to be one of the most modern refineries in Latin America, with the capacity to process up to 95,000 heavy and light crude oil barrels a day, both from Peruvian soil and other parts of the planet. Most importantly, a critical element is that gasoline and diesel production will have a maximum sulfur content of 50 parts per million, which results in an environmentally friendly production.
The refinery has 16 processing units and five auxiliary unit and supplementary service bundles, two liquid cargo loading docks and 21 new storage tanks, all of which turns it into one of the most important deep conversion refineries in Latin America.
ARPEL is a non-profit association that brings together companies and institutions in the oil, gas and renewable energy sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. It was founded in 1965 and its members currently operate in more than 30 countries in the region and include national and international operating companies, suppliers of technology, goods and services for the value chain, as well as national and international institutions in the sector.