Organized by the FAPESP-Shell Research Centre for Gas Innovation (RCGI) and by the USP Energy and Environment Institute (IEE/USP), the event debates subjects related to Gás para Crescer (Natural Gas for Growth), an initiative launched last year by the Federal Government.

Next June 7, at the Energy and Environment Institute (IEE) of the University of São Paulo (USP), the panel discussion “Regulatory Updates of the Natural Gas Market: Natural Gas for Growth Workshop” will be held, organized by the FAPESP-Shell Research Centre for Gas Innovation (RCGI) and by the IEE. The event is organized by RCGI’s team for Project 21, which is preparing an annotated digital repository of Brazilian legislation regarding natural gas.

The free, public-invited workshop is coordinated by Professors Edmilson Moutinho dos Santos and Hirdan Katarina de Medeiros Costa. This is the first academic initiative of the State of São Paulo (and maybe of Brazil) to discuss and go more deeply into reflections regarding the Natural Gas for Growth program that was launched by the Ministry of Mining and Energy in July 2016. To register, click on At the end, attendees will receive a participation certificate issued by the RCGI.

The “Natural Gas for Growth” initiative stirred a debate regarding the adaptation of the activities of the natural gas sector to the new moment of the market, based on the reduction of Petrobras’ participation in numerous segments of the energy chain. The workshop plans on discussing this adaptation at the different points in which it should take place, as well as extending the discussion to regulatory issues involving unconventional natural gas,” Hirdan explains.

She remembers that when the initiative was launched, the following working points were presented for a public consultation: the sale of natural gas; incoming and outgoing tariffs; sharing essential infrastructures; encouragement of harmonization between Federal and State regulations; incentives for the development of demand for natural gas; harmonization between the electricity and natural gas sectors; independent integrated management of the transport and storage systems; commercial policies of natural gas regarding the Federal part of the sharing contracts; taxation challenges and support for the negotiations to buy Bolivian natural gas and/or other alternatives.

“Natural Gas for Growth is the most effective program in the country, today, for encouraging the commercial use of natural gas and for making this energy source arrive at the end user, whether large, medium or small, industrial, commercial or residential,” says Márcia Konrad, a collaborator with RCGI’s Project 21 and a Doctoral candidate in the Energy post-graduate program at the IEE. According to her, the event arose out of the need to bring the public into the discussions. “The initiative has nine subcommittees discussing crucial issues for the Brazilian natural gas market. They will probably release their final reports by August.”

Panel discussions – The workshop is organized into four panel discussions. Each panel is formed by two specialists and a mediator. The first panel, entitled Aspects Regarding Nonconventional Natural Gas, will be discussed by Colombo Tassinari, Professor and Director of the IEE, and attorney Laís Almada, from the National Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Biofuels Agency, (ANP), with Sílvia Cupertino as the mediator, who is also an attorney and consultant for the Federal Senate in the area of Mining, Energy, and Civil Responsibility.

The second panel deals with Transport, Distribution, and Commercial handling of Natural Gas. The discussion members are Professors Edmar de Almeida and Marcelo Colomer, both from the Economics Institute of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (IE-UFRJ), with the mediator being Professor Edmilson Moutinho dos Santos, from the IEE.

At 2:00 p.m., after a luncheon break, the last two panel discussions will be held, both of which mediated by Professor Maria Assunção da Costa, attorney with a Ph.D. from the IEE. Regulatory aspects of Natural Gas for Growth will be discussed by Zevi Kann, an engineer with extensive regulatory experience who is involved with the Planning and Energy areas, and Carina Couto, Superintendent of Regulating Piped Natural Gas of the Regulatory Agency for Sanitation and Energy of the State of São Paulo (ARSESP). Shared Natural Gas and ways to put it into use is the subject of the last panel discussion, with the participation of Federal Prosecutor Olavo Bentes David, from the Brazilian Company for the Administration of Petroleum and Natural Gas (Pré-Sal Petróleo SA-PPSA) and Dirceu Abrahão, Undersecretary for Petroleum and Natural Gas of the State of São Paulo.

“Since the times of the discussion that preceded the passing of Law 11.909/2009, which was later known as the Natural Gas Law, despite the fact that it basically dealt only with the activities related to the transportation of natural gas, there has never been such a furor with respect to the legal and regulatory aspects governing the development of the natural gas sector in Brazil,” Edmilson Moutinho dos Santos pointed out.

Professor Moutinho reminds that the Natural Gas Law, which continues to be in effect, ended up detaching itself from a market reality totally different from the one that it wanted to regulate. From 2009 to 2016, instead of stimulating market forces and the participation of diverse investors, there actually was a political decision to promote the strengthening of the role of Petrobras within relatively uncompetitive environments. However, since 2017, strategic choices have been modified. The Natural Gas for Growth program seeks to structure its debates so as do build business environments that are more competitive and attractive to private investors who have been called upon to take places left by Petrobras.

Event information:

Event: Regulatory Updates of the Natural Gas Market: Natural Gas for Growth Workshop

Date: June 7, 2017

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Address: Amphitheater of the Energy and Environment Institute (Av. Professor Luciano Gualberto, 1.289, Cidade Universitária São Paulo – SP)