It has been an appalling few years for Brazil’s energy patch. Weaker oil prices, sweeping corruption scandals and the worst economic downturn ever have sharply impacted the nation’s oil industry — but improvement might finally be in sight. The aforementioned factors triggered a steep decline in investment, notably from foreign energy majors, preventing Brazil from fully exploiting its sizable oil reserves of 13 billion barrels. The key problem is that a large portion of those reserves are held in its offshore deep-water pre-salt oilfields; that means they can be complex and costly to fully exploit. However, the potential held by the pre-salt belt is tremendous. Its basins have some of the highest drilling success rates globally, and the national petroleum agency, the ANP, believes that if effectively exploited, the pre-salt area could easily double Brazil’s oil reserves. Industry insiders estimate that the largest oil field in the pre-salt acreage, […]