Brazil - Country Commercial Guide

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2023-03-27


Brazil continues to be the largest energy market in Latin America with opportunities across many subsectors. Most notably, the Brazilian Energy Planning Agency’s (EPE) Energy Expansion Plan (PDE) for 2021-2031 indicates that renewable sources will remain a high priority in Brazil’s energy market, comprising about 50% of Brazil’s energy matrix between 2021 and 2031. In 2020, renewable energy supplied 85% of the electricity sector demand and it is expected to reach 88% by 2030. Nuclear energy is expected to grow with the Angra 3 power plant’s entry into operation, estimated for 2028.  Within the non-renewable sources, oil and gas will continue to play a key role in energy supply for the country. (Note: This energy matrix includes fuels - diesel, gasoline, and ethanol).  Total estimated investment in the energy sector through 2031 is $513 billion for the oil and gas sector and $101 billion for power generation and transmission.

Leading Sub-Sectors

Oil and Gas

Brazil is Latin America’s top oil producer. The country owns the largest recoverable ultra-deep oil reserves in the world, with 96.7% of Brazil’s oil production produced offshore.  The 2021 average oil production was 2.90 million barrels per day. Brazil’s deep water pre-salt fields accounted for 72.4% of national production. Brazil’s 2021-2031 Energy Expansion Plan forecasts that the country’s oil production will reach 5.2 million barrels of oil per day by 2031 with the pre-salt fields accounting for nearly 80% of total production.  Shallow water and onshore fields are not expected to exceed 7% of total oil output. However, there is an expectation of improvement in the production of these fields due to the Revitalization Program for the Exploration and Production of Onshore Oil and Natural Gas Areas (REATE 2020) and the Revitalization and Incentive Program for the Production of Maritime Fields (Promar). By 2030, Brazil is expected to become the world’s fifth largest crude oil exporter.

Brazil’s 2021 natural gas (NG) production amounted to 134 million cubic meters/day - up 5% from 2020. Associated gas currently represents approximately 80% of Brazil’s NG production, which is expected to reach its peak production of 183 million m³/day by 2028.  The actual NG supply in 2021 ended up at 51.49 million m³/day (considering losses, gas reinjection, burn, and E&P consumption). NG domestic production represented 53% of Brazil’s supply, while imports from Bolivia reached 20%, followed by LNG imports at 26%. The U.S. was the largest LNG exporter to Brazil in 2021 supplying 22.5 million m³. Common challenges facing the Brazilian gas market include high CO2 content, long distances from the offshore gas fields to the coast, limited gas pipeline infrastructure, and the need to boost domestic demand. 

Significant energy reforms, frequent oil field finds, and the opening of oil bidding rounds have attracted International Oil Companies (IOCs) from around the world.  IOCs have acquired oil field concessions, gas pipeline networks, and are developing liquified natural gas (LNG) terminals.   

The EPE 2031 Energy Expansion Plan (PDE) forecasts that oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) investments will range from $428 billion to $474 billion during this period.  These figures reflect an evaluation of aggregated investments of all E&P in Brazil, including those from national oil company Petrobras, as announced in its 2022-2026 Strategic Business Plan.

In line with climate commitments, oil operators are seeking to increase efficiency while reducing costs and the industry’s carbon footprint. The Brazilian National Oil and Gas Regulator (ANP), who oversees oil operators’ mandatory R&D spending, will prioritize projects focused on hydrogen, biofuels, energy storage, and digital transformation, among others, in line with a recent Brazilian Energy Policy Council resolution. ANP has recently reported that in the last three years, artificial intelligence, machine learning, smart completion, and CO2 capture have been the most frequent keywords in new R&D projects.  A list of the R&D projects, in Portuguese, by oil operators, is available at ANP´s dynamic panel.


Brazil has a promising civil nuclear energy market.  The EPE 2050 Long-Term Energy Expansion Plan calls for up to eight additional nuclear power plants, adding 10 GWh of production capacity. Local analysts project investments of approximately $50 billion in Brazil’s nuclear energy sector over the next 30 years. These new investments are expected to include Small Modular Reactor (SMR) developments and increased uranium exploitation to allow for “yellow cake” exports of 1.5 tons per year. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is working with EPE to finalize the scope of an assessment of market opportunities for SMRs and advanced microreactors in Brazil.  Government-owned nuclear power project sponsor Eletronuclear  (ETN) views clusters of SMRs as a viable model for the expansion of Brazil’s nuclear power fleet.   ETN has established SMR related MOUs with selected SMR developers.

Currently, two nuclear reactors, Angra 1 and 2, account for over 1,900 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity, representing 2% of Brazil’s power generation. Construction of a third nuclear power reactor, Angra 3, has resumed.

The EPE 2021-2031 Energy Expansion Plan forecasts one new nuclear power plant of 1,000 MW to be in operation by 2031, however, industry sources are skeptical about this new plant, speculating that SMRs may be more realistic given the short timeframe.

As a result of the Eletrobras holding capitalization, a new parastatal company (Empresa Brasileira de Participações em Energia Nuclear e Binacional S.A. – EnbPar) was created by Decree No. 10791 of September 10, 2021.  EnbPar will oversee the nuclear power and the binational Itaipu hydropower complexes. Additionally, the Nuclear Brazilian Industry (INB), which produces uranium, will be a subsidiary of EnbPar.  ETN is now under EnbPar.  Internal restructuring is in process, including changes to key positions at ETN.

ETN’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan calls for total investments of $4.4 billion.  The Plan also aims at feasibility studies for the use of hydrogen produced by the Angra 1 and 2 nuclear power plants.  

In April 2021, ETN began transferring Angra 2’s spent fuel to its newly built Dry Storage Facility (DSF) for Irradiated Fuel.  The transfer of spent fuel represents a milestone project for Brazil’s nuclear power industry.

Electric Power Systems  

Brazil is the largest electricity market in Latin America and has the seventh largest electricity generation capacity in the world. Installed capacity reached 181.6 GW in 2021, a 3.9% increase from 2020, with remarkable growth from wind power (21.2%) and solar power (40.9%).  Brazil generates and distributes electricity to over 85 million residential, commercial, and industrial consumers, more than the power produced by all other South American countries combined.  Investment into the Brazilian electricity sector is expected to reach $94 billion by 2029, including utility-scale generation, distributed generation, and transmission projects.  


Brazil registered a total installed capacity of 181.6 GW in 2021, 84% of which is from renewable sources, with hydropower being the largest source. Thermal power (coal, gas, oil, and nuclear) represents 16% of the Brazilian electricity matrix. According to the Energy Planning Agency (EPE), Brazil is expected to add nearly 37 GW of power generation by 2030. Investments in utility-scale power generation are estimated to reach $62 billion by 2029, while distributed generation should see $10 billion in investment over the same period. Distributed generation increased 84% in 2021, primarily from solar power.


Brazil has a country-wide interconnected grid of over 100,000 miles of high voltage transmission lines. By 2030, an additional 25,000 miles will expand the grid significantly. Total investments in the power transmission sector over the same period are projected to reach $18 billion, of which $13 billion will be in transmission lines and $5 billion in substations.  


Brazil has 102 power distribution companies. Private firms owned by foreign investors prevail in this segment. Large international companies operating in this market include Spanish Ibedrola and Italian ENEL. This segment sees annual investment of around $2.2 billion per year, 69% of which is in expansion, 19% in improvement and 12% in renewal of distribution networks.

Renewable Energy  

Brazil’s electricity matrix is one of the cleanest in the world and Brazil is committed to continuing its support for renewable energy projects. Continued investments are expected in wind, solar, and hydropower capacity.  Brazil uses auction-based renewable procurement to increase new generation capacity and contract duration is typically 15 to 30 years. As Brazil moves forward with its modernization plans for the electricity sector, which includes expansion of the deregulated market, the use of private sector Power Purchasing Agreements (PPAs) will likely increase exponentially within the renewable energy sector.

Hydropower represents 63% of the Brazilian electricity matrix.  Wind power is the second largest source of energy in Brazil with 15 GW of installed capacity and an additional 4.6 GW already contracted or under construction and expected to come online by 2023. Brazil has 601 wind farms utilizing 7,000 wind turbines.  Several potential offshore wind projects have been announced, however actual implementation of these projects is dependent on further regulation and definition on bidding and leasing procedures by the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) and the National Electric Power Agency (ANEEL). While Brazil still has vast areas for the development of additional onshore wind power, many potential offshore wind projects in Brazil relate to the potential for green hydrogen generation to be exported to Europe.

New long-term solar energy developments may potentially rival investments in wind power. Utility scale solar energy in Brazil increased 40.9% in 2021, while distributed generation from solar increased 84%. Investments in utility-scale solar energy projects that have already been approved amount to more than $20 billion. An additional $1 billion has been invested in solar distributed generation since 2012, this amount is expected to increase exponentially in the next several years.  


Oil & Gas

Most opportunities for U.S. oil and gas suppliers are related to pre-salt projects which hold great potential for development. Throughout 2021, most oil companies have gradually resumed drilling activities after a downturn caused by COVID-19 in 2020. In the medium- to long-term, oil companies plan to drill 300 offshore wells, order over 30 new production units, and build 600 km (373 miles) of gas pipelines in Brazil. 

In 2021, Petrobras was responsible for 93% of Brazil’s oil and gas production; while companies like Shell, Repsol Sinopec, Equinor, Petrogal, and TotalEnergies, among others, account for the rest.

In the oil exploration and appraisal segment, 47 local and 50 foreign companies are currently prospecting new finds.

Petrobras plans to publish its 2023-2027 Strategic Business Plan by November 2022.  Industry sources believe that the new Plan will incorporate investments to explore the Equatorial Margin frontier given its high potential to be a new “pre-salt” area, thus contributing to increased Petrobras oil reserves.  Under E&P activities in the new frontier, Petrobras is expected to adopt state-of-the-art algorithm technologies, artificial intelligence, high performance computers (HPC), and remote operation to reduce environmental risks.  Petrobras may also focus on refinery upgrades and clean energy such as offshore wind projects to produce green hydrogen.

Petrobras´ current Business Plan (2022-2026) calls for an investment of $68 billion of which 84% would be made in exploration and production (E&P) activities.

As the graphic below shows, between 2022 and 2031, it is estimated that 38 floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSOs) units will begin operations. Of these, 20 have already been scheduled to come online.


Like other oil companies, Petrobras has also set decarbonization goals.  The company projects investments of $2.8 billion in decarbonization and biofuels over the next five years, along with a new $248 million fund focused on low carbon initiatives investing in the next generation of efficient fuels, including biokerosene and renewable diesel. 

Deep and ultradeep water technological advancements have helped make Brazil’s pre-salt oil extraction among the least carbon-intensive in the world, registering 40% fewer emissions per barrel than the world average.

In December 2021, Petrobras registered 30 million tons of CO2 being reinjected into the pre-salt reservoirs, preventing its venting into the atmosphere.  Petrobras’ forecasts indicate that by 2025, 40 million tons of CO2 will be reinjected, representing the largest Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) deep water technology project in the world.  Since 2015, the company recorded a 15% reduction in its total operating emissions, 10% short of its goal by 2030 of a 25% reduction. Between 2009 and 2021, Petrobras reduced the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions per produced barrel of oil by approximately 50%. 


Despite the emphasis on the upstream segment, the downstream subsector is also expected to generate business opportunities, mainly related to refineries and gas processing units.

Brazil holds the eighth largest refining complex in Latin America (17 refineries) with Petrobras owning 98% of Brazil’s refining capacity. However, a divestment program is in progress and new players are expected to enter the market in the short term (e.g., the Mubadala fund acquired the RLAM refinery in early 2021).

Petrobras plans to retain five of its refineries and invest $3.7 billion in feature projects. Such projects include three hydrotreatment units (HDTs) and hydrocatalytic cracking systems to increase the S-10 (10 mg of sulphur for each diesel oil kilogram) diesel production in the Gaslub Complex. The Gaslub will also produce more advanced lubricants. A renewable diesel fuel, with 15% less GHG in comparison to regular biodiesel, is also under development at select Petrobras refineries. 

There are five LNG regasification terminals in operation in Brazil (Petrobras owns three of them); three are in the development stage; and several others are planned for the coming years.  Among the new terminals, the Port of Açu LNG-to-power project, developed by GNA, is the largest of its kind in South America. Two natural gas-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 3GW are fed by the LNG import terminal with regasification capacity of 21 million m3/day. 

A number of new gas-to-power projects under construction in Brazil are anchored to imported LNG.  EPE notes that LNG will continue to play an important role in the Brazilian market by ensuring flexibility to the integrated power grid and to fill in the intermittence of non-dispatchable renewable energy sources, seasonality, and power peaks.  Additionally, EPE sees an increase in demand for small-scale LNG to places not yet served by natural gas pipelines.  Barges and coastal shipping/cabotage will distribute the imported LNG from floating storage units (FSUs) in the Amazon region to locations in northern Brazil in order to replace fuel oil and diesel for industrial and power generation markets. These barges will be equipped with mobile cryogenic tanks.  However, the Ukraine-Russia war and the resulting gas scenario may impact planned LNG projects in Brazil.

U.S. company New Fortress Energy leads new LNG regasification terminal projects in Brazil, while U.S. company Excelerate Energy holds a lease on one of the Petrobras owned LNG terminals and associated pipelines, located in Bahia State, with a 20 million m3/day import capacity. 

LNG Terminals in Brazil

While the currently unfavorable exchange rate impacts price competitiveness, there is increased potential for U.S. exports of equipment and services as Brazil has lowered local content requirements. Additionally, the U.S. oil and gas industry enjoys an excellent reputation due its advanced and innovative technology and expertise. Exporters are encouraged to reach out to the U.S. Commercial Service in Brazil to discuss demand for specific products and services.

U.S. companies can also consider bidding on the Open Acreage Permanent Oil Block Offers that ANP organizes.

Since mid-2018, Petrobras has been following a new and more transparent bidding process decreed by Brazilian law. Now all tenders must be published in advance at the Petronect portal.  Among the many improvements is the option for unregistered suppliers in Petrobras’ system to submit bids. Should the bidder be selected, the company will be able to pursue the supplier’s registration process subsequent to the tender process. Still, U.S. oil and gas suppliers are encouraged to secure a supplier’s registration to facilitate contracting procedures with Petrobras. Registration requires that foreign firms have a local legal representative. In some tenders, this requirement may be waived, depending on the bid specifications.

Nuclear Power

Most civil nuclear opportunities relate to the Angra 1 Lifetime Operation Extension (LTO) project.  In April 2021, U.S. EXIM Bank (EXIM) formalized the funding approval of an Engineering Multiplier Program (EMP) as the operation guarantor. The $23.5 million funding that Santander Bank is providing will cover ETN contract costs with Westinghouse Electric Company (WEC) for the EMP, enabling Angra 1 to operate through 2044. The EMP includes a series of analyses and feasibility studies to leverage a group of projects that will integrate the LTO, which will involve Holtec and Siemens, in addition to WEC.

ETN is working with EXIM on an additional financial engagement of up to $400 million to extend the lifespan of Angra 1, which comprises nearly 70 projects.  ETN’s technical staffing shortage has caused a delay in the submission of the LTO scopes of work to EXIM.  However, ETN has been able to award specific OEM contracts related to the LTO due to the release of funds by ETN´s previous holdings in Eletrobras.

  Equipment and services needed for the LTO project include:

  • Design engineering
  • Replacement of cables
  • Environmental qualification of electrical equipment
  • Modernization of radiation monitoring systems
  • Reactor coolant pump seals
  • Instrumentation & control systems
  • Junction boxes
  • Cables
  • Battery bank
  • Auxiliar boiler
  • Low pressure turbine rotor
  • Ventilation system
  • Drums and liners for waste storage
  • Waste treatment system technology
  • Filters
  • Process robotization 
  • Predictive operation and maintenance analysis
  • Mobile and artificial intelligence technologies

Brazil also plans to complete Angra 3, a 1,245 MW Siemens technology power plant project initiated in 1984.  Angra 3 will be the first totally digital nuclear power plant in Brazil. This plant’s developments have already cost nearly $1.7 billion.  With 62% of the physical construction concluded, another $3 billion is needed to complete the project.  Angra 3 is expected to initiate operations in 2028.

ETN has worked with the Brazilian National, Economic and Social Bank (BNDES) to create a business model for Angra 3 that isolates the financial risk (i.e., balancing bank financing with capital market instruments) from the construction risk (i.e., contracting out one or more firms to cover engineering, procurement, construction, assembly, and commissioning services).

In late 2021, French-Belgium consortium Tractebel-Engie was selected to carry out technical and engineering due diligence studies to revise the final costs to conclude the plant.  In early February 2022, a Brazilian consortium (Ferreira Guedes, Matricial e ADtranz) won the bid to complete the reactor’s containment building and spent fuel electro-mechanical infrastructure.  Eletronuclear plans to launch additional tenders over the next years, including those for Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) companies to finalize the plant’s construction.

You can follow all Electronuclear tenders via the company’s tenders portal.

Electric Power Systems and Renewable Energy  

Brazil has one of the cleanest electricity matrices in the world and is committed to pursuing clean energy sources in the future. The growth of solar and wind power in Brazil and reforms in the electricity sector that will foster a deregulated power market present great business opportunities for U.S. companies offering innovative technology and solutions to address the impact that these changes will have on the Brazilian power grid.  Areas of opportunity include:

  • Data analytics 
  • Control and automation systems 
  • Data loggers and acquisition systems 
  • Monitoring/testing/inspection systems  
  • Remotely operated vehicles  
  • Digital power plants 
  • High efficiency turbines capable of integrating with renewable resources  
  • Rehabilitation/repair/maintenance/upgrading services 
  • Weather instruments and meteorological equipment  
  • Microgrid solutions  
  • Residential, commercial and industrial energy efficiency solutions  
  • Energy storage 
  • Distributed energy resources management and control  
  • Transmission and distribution automation  
  • Enterprise grid management 
  • Cybersecurity and incident response solutions  
  • Customer engagement solutions  
  • Smart metering: smart grid software and analytical packages; advanced metering infrastructure  
  • Electric vehicle infrastructure  
  • Vehicle-to-grid technology
  • Off-grid solutions
  • PV + Storage
  • Hybrid Systems
  • Blockchain  


Brazilian Oil and Gas Regulator (ANP) - For E&P Exploration Data


The Brazilian Petroleum Institute (IBP) 

Energy Research Enterprise (EPE)

Brazilian Association of Oil Service Companies (ABESPETRO) 


For any additional information about Brazil’s energy sector, please contact:

Renewable Energy and Power Sector (Generation, Transmission & Distribution):,

Oil & Gas and Nuclear:,