Brazil is poised to become the first South American nation to enact legislation for carbon capture and storage (CCS), marking a significant milestone in its commitment to a net-zero future, the Journal of Petroleum Technology (JPT) reported Thursday.
The approval of Bill 1425/2022 by a special committee in Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy on November 29 represents a crucial step toward establishing a legal framework for CCS activities.
While further legislative steps are required in the Chamber of Deputies, the momentum is building, aligning Brazil with countries like Canada and the US that have already embraced CCS.
The groundwork for this historic move can be traced back to various factors, including Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s commitment to a net-zero future expressed at the United Nations’ COP 27 summit in 2022.
The United Nations’ endorsement of carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration further supported Brazil’s efforts, and key players like Petrobras (NYSE: PBR), the national oil company, and CCS Brasil, a Brazilian nonprofit organization, also played pivotal roles, JPT said.
CCS Brasil’s engagement with the US Department of Energy (DOE) and its presentation of critical findings at the 2023 Offshore Technology Conference, which took place in Houston, Texas in May, contributed significantly.
Petrobras’ CEO Jean Paul Prates, formerly a senator, advocated for not only Bill 1425/2022 but also bills related to hydrogen and offshore wind, reminiscent of early support for transformative legislation in the US.
The collaboration with international stakeholders, particularly the US DOE, emphasized the importance of shared experiences and insights, with potential benefits extending to Brazil’s nascent low-carbon economy.
As Bill 1425/2022 awaits final approval, Brazil is poised to leverage components from the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 to expedite its sequestration initiatives.
According to JPT, the knowledge and funding experiences of the US, including the $1.2 billion earmarked for direct air capture (DAC) in August, can significantly contribute to Brazil’s efforts.
European oil companies operating in Brazil, such as Equinor and Shell, could also benefit from the legislation by applying their CCS expertise and experience, providing a winning formula for sequestration through collaboration with Petrobras.
Thus, Brazil’s collaborative approach has the potential to position the country as a pioneer in South America, setting a referenceable CCS framework for other developing nations, JPT concludes.