This excerpt taken from the PBR 20-F filed Jun 30, 2005.
Summary and Strategy
Our natural gas and power segment encompasses the purchase, sale and transportation of natural gas produced in or imported into Brazil. Additionally, this segment includes our domestic electric energy commercialization activities as well as investments in domestic natural gas transportation companies, state-owned natural gas distributors and thermal electric companies.
The natural gas market in Brazil has been growing steadily. In 2004, we estimate that natural gas consumption represented approximately 7.5% of Brazils primary energy consumption, as compared to 6.5-7.0% in 2003 and 5.5-6.0% in 2002. The Brazilian government has estimated that natural gas will represent 12% of primary energy
consumption by 2010. We expect that a portion of this growth will come from increased industrial demand as well as from the Brazilian governments environmental policies encouraging the replacement of traditional industrial fuels with cleaner energy sources. The development of natural gas-fired thermoelectric plants in Brazil will also aid growth in the natural gas market. During the last three years, we estimate that industrial consumption of natural gas has grown by 75% while vehicular consumption has grown by approximately 70%.
To capitalize on these growth opportunities, we have adopted a vertically integrated strategy. As a result of our petroleum exploration and production activities in Brazil, we produce significant amounts of associated natural gas as a by-product. We have also invested heavily in production facilities and pipeline capacity to import natural gas from Bolivia, where we, and other oil companies, have discovered substantial non-associated reserves. To secure a market for our natural gas, we have been investing in domestic gas distribution companies, as well as in thermoelectric plants, with the intention to further develop the market for our natural gas.
Our main strategies in the natural gas and power segment are to:
Our natural gas and power results are reflected in the Gas and Energy segment in our audited consolidated financial statements.
Our main pipeline investment has been the development and construction of the Bolivia-Brazil natural gas pipeline, which has a total capacity of 1,060 MMscfd (30 MMcmd). The pipeline is 1,969 miles (3,150 kilometers) in length, representing 40% of the existing Brazilian onshore gas pipelines, and running from Rio Grande in Bolivia to Porto Alegre in Southern Brazil. The Bolivia-Brazil pipeline connects to our domestic pipeline system that transports natural gas from the Campos and Santos Basins. We are a significant investor in the Bolivia-Brazil natural gas pipeline, holding an 11% interest in GTBGas TransBoliviano S.A., or GTB, the corporate entity owning the Bolivian portion of the pipeline, and a 51% interest in TBGTransportadora Brasileira do Gasoduto Bolívia-Brasil S.A., or TBG, the corporate entity owning the Brazilian portion of the pipeline. This pipeline is currently in operation and it supplies gas to some of our power and petrochemical plants, including the Uruguaiana Power Plant and the Triunfo Petrochemical Plant.
Our investment in the Bolivia-Brazil gas pipeline was the result of a 1996 gas supply agreement, or the GSA, for the purchase of natural gas between the Bolivian state oil company, Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos YPFB, and us. The GSA requires us to purchase from YPFB minimum specified quantities of natural gas transported through the pipeline over a 20-year term.
We are also investing in other major domestic natural gas projects: Cabiúnas, the Southeast and the Northeast Gas Pipeline networks, Urucu Manaus Gas Pipeline and the Southeast Northeast Gas Pipeline (GASENE).
The Cabiúnas project comprises transportation and processing facilities of natural gas from the offshore oil fields in the Campos Basin to the State of Rio de Janeiro, and includes the construction of an undersea facility for storage of natural gas during declines in consumption. We expect this project to be operational by the second
semester of 2005 and to increase transportation capacity from the current 290 million cubic feet (8.2 million cubic meters) per day to a total of 476 million cubic feet (13.5 million cubic meters) per day of associated gas while reducing the volumes of natural gas currently flared on offshore platforms and alleviating existing constraints on oil production from these platforms. In 2004, the average daily volume of natural gas flared on the offshore platforms of the Campos Basin was 88 million cubic feet (2.5 million cubic meters).
We are currently developing the Southeast and the Northeast Gas Pipeline Networks (Malha Sudeste and Malha Nordeste) jointly with private capital investors (the Malhas Project). These projects will create additional transportation capacity by expanding the existing natural gas infrastructure and delivering natural gas to markets in the Northeast and Southeast regions of Brazil. These projects include the construction of an approximately 890-mile (1,423 kilometers) pipeline network, which is expected to start operations in 2007, at a total cost of approximately U.S.$1,000 million. We are currently negotiating with private capital investors an additional investment of U.S.$900 million for this gas pipeline network.
We are negotiating a long-term financing for a project to deliver natural gas to the states of Amazonas in Northern Brazil (Urucu Manaus Gas Pipeline). Another long term financing is being negotiated for the Southeast-Northeast Gas Pipeline (GASENE). This pipeline, with a length of 1,280 kilometers, will connect the Southeast and Northeast gas pipeline networks allowing the interconnection of the Brazilian natural gas network system (Rede Básica de Transporte de Gás Natural). This pipeline will link more gas supply sources to demand and increase the existing gas pipeline networks overall reliability.
Local Distribution Companies
We sell natural gas in Brazil to local gas distribution companies, as under Brazilian law, each state has the monopoly right to distribute gas within a certain region. Most states established companies to act as local gas distributors and sold minority interests in them. We have invested actively in local gas distribution companies, and we currently have minority interests in 19 natural gas distribution companies from a total of 26 existing companies. Of the 19 companies in which we have minority interests, 14 are currently in operation. These companies have an aggregate pipeline extension of 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers). In 2004, these gas distribution companies sold an average of 585.7 million cubic feet of natural gas per day (16.4 million cubic meters) and generated total net operating revenues of R$2.6 billion (U.S.$0.9 billion), as compared to R$2.4 billion (U.S.$0.8 billion) in 2003. We invested in gas distribution companies through BR until March 2002, and subsequently sold these investments to our subsidiary, Petrobras Gás S.A.Gaspetro. In the State of Espírito Santo, we have the exclusive rights to distribute natural gas through BR.
In December 2004, Gaspetro acquired a 40% equity interest in Gasmig, the gas distribution company of the State of Minas Gerais, from Cemig for R$154 million (U.S.$58 million). In connection with this acquisition, we assumed the obligation to construct natural gas pipelines to be financed by Cemig. In 2004, Gaspetro also increased its participation in CEG-Rio, the gas distribution company of the State of Rio de Janeiro, by acquiring an additional 9.86% of common shares and 13.68% of preferred shares from Gás Natural SGD for R$46.8 million (U.S.$16.5 million). Gaspetro now holds 26.2% and 43.4% of CEG-Rios common and preferred shares, respectively.
We serve as the technical and commercial operator in all of the distribution companies in which we have a minority shareholding stake. Each of the distribution companies in operation in which we have an interest has entered into long term gas supply contracts with us under which such companies have gas purchase obligations (in the case of contracts relating to Brazilian gas), and ship-or-pay and gas purchase obligations (in the case of contracts relating to Bolivian gas or with thermoelectric power producers). These ship-or-pay and gas purchase contracts do not permit net settlement by either the buyer or the seller, and no market mechanism exists for net settlement.
The following table sets forth our domestic sales of natural gas to affiliated and non-affiliated local distribution companies for each of 2004, 2003 and 2002: