BY CHRONICLE STAFF
Brazil, Colombia and Trinidad are the Latin American and Caribbean energy markets with the best outlook this year, expert say. “Brazil/Petrobras is the only player in the region with a vision and a long term strategic road map necessary to achieve it,” says Jorge R. Piñon, an energy fellow at the University of Miami’s Center for Hemispheric Policy.
Jeremy Martin, director of the energy program at the Institute of the Americas, agrees, although he sees some dark clouds. “As the only country in the region that can claim increased oil production, Brazil continues to be a huge player and worthy of investors’ attention,” he says. “However, the spirited debate occurring in Brazil over their model for oil & gas development, and how to handle the huge offshore finds remains a large X factor and one that may force companies to reexamine future opportunities, though such a paradigm shift is unlikely in 2009.”
Petrobras is close to securing $20 billion for its premium refinery from Japan's Marubeni industrial group, Reuters reported last week. The 600,000 barrel-per-day refinery is located in the state of Maranhao.
MEXICO: MIXED OPINIONS
On Mexico, however, Martin is more upbeat than Piñon. “At worst 2009 will be status quo, at best it will be a year of transition in Mexico,” Martin says. “Oil production will continue to decline, but ...
Keywords: Bolivia, Central America, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Trinidad, Peru, Venezuela