PhDsoft was invited to join in a study that has just been released: Technological Learning and Industrial Innovation – Working Paper Series. It was made by FGV EBAPE, a renowned Brazilian Institution. The objective was to answer two basic questions: To what extent and how have companies in the Brazilian oil and gas industry accumulated technological capabilities, both for operational activities and for innovation? And how has this process influenced the reach and strength (or weakening) of industrial competitiveness?
The choice of the oil and gas sector is justified by its economic and technological importance in Brazilian industry. Oil and gas extraction and its supporting activities have a share in the country’s industrial GDP of over 10%. Petroleum and its derivatives are products of great importance in the export agenda (11% of the total exported in 2014) and oil is the main energy source used in the world and in Brazil (representing 33% and 39% of the world and Brazilian energy matrix, respectively). From a technological point of view, this industry has presented new opportunities for innovation, with overflows for other economic sectors, such as the chemical and construction industry. In addition, partnerships for overcoming technological challenges are a notable feature of the oil and gas industry.
Brazil has 6% of the world’s oil reserves, which is a stimulus factor for investments in the sector. By 2020, the total investment in equipment and services for Extraction and Production (E&P) in the country will be US$ 400 billion.
Of this sum, more than 30% will be directed to the production of submarine equipment, which shows a good opportunity of scale to develop the local productive chain. Brazil ranks 13th among oil producing countries, considering the number of barrels produced per day, corresponding to 2.7% of world production.
The study got to several conclusions and pointed to public policies that could help to develop the sector in the country: “It is important to note that the internationalization of the oil and gas industry has been a high priority in the industrial policy framework of the sector in several countries. In Norway, for example, the policy objective was to use the technological capacity developed internally for the international market, thus strengthening the growth and development of the oil cluster in the country in the long term. Today, advanced products and systems created in Norway compete successfully in the global market, including in Brazil”, concluded the study in respect of the need of support for Brazilian companies to compete in the international market.