The Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque, said today (27) that the opening of the natural gas market in Rondônia will boost gas exploration in the Solimões and Amazonas river basins, in the Amazon region. The statement was made in the solemnity of the announcement of the opening of this market in the state.
sanctioned in april last year, the Gas Law, (Law 14.134/21) created mechanisms for the so-called new gas market. According to the minister, the law has already brought results with the arrival of new companies in the natural gas exploration and supply segment.
In the Amazon River Basin region, natural gas production began in 2021, with the exploration of the Azulão field. According to Eneva, the company that bought the field, the gas produced in Azulão will be used to generate energy by the thermoelectric plant. There is also the prospect of gas exploration in the Juruá field, in the Solimões Basin.
“This will be very good, not only for Rondônia’s energy supply, but also gas is a very important input for the industry. The industries will come to Rondônia, many of them are already established here and arrived in the last three years, and I understand that the state of Rondônia will have a much faster development with this new legal framework”, he said. “The same thing will happen with the gas potential in the Solimões and Amazonas Basins, which will definitely benefit the state of Rondônia,” said Albuquerque.
Among other points, the new legislation ended the concession regime for the exploitation of the product and created new criteria for access to essential infrastructure to move natural gas and the regime for the entry and exit of the product in the gas pipelines.
Now, companies interested in exploring natural gas only need an authorization from the National Petroleum Agency (ANP). Another point of the law is that different companies can act at different stages of the gas production chain, such as transport, since the legislation guarantees free access for these agents to the gas pipelines.
“Before, there was no access to the entire natural gas infrastructure, because for many, many years there was a monopoly in the country, held by Petrobras, which was unable, even for reasons of investment resources, to provide the best service. This new legal framework for gas allowed new agents to participate in the process. Until last year, we only had one company, which was Petrobras. Today we have seven companies,” said the minister.
Even with the approval of the new framework, states still need to modify their legislation to adapt. The Constitution guarantees the competence of federated entities to regulate local piped gas services, such as distribution.
In addition to Rondônia, other states have already changed their legislation, such as Maranhão, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí and Ceará. Rio Grande do Norte has already forwarded a project to the Legislative Assembly modifying local legislation.