June 19, 2015 - Structural impediments in Brazil’s oil and gas regulatory regime followed by a corruption scandal involving the national hydrocarbons company set exploration in that country back for years, an international law professor said recently at the University of Houston Law Center.
But public reaction to the 2014-15 Petrobras kickback scandal, which ultimately resulted in the arrest of more than 30 executives, has awakened a new sense of accountability among investors in the oil and gas sector, said Marilda Rosado, who specializes in petroleum law at the State University of Rio de Janeiro. And that awareness has created exciting opportunities for the country, she said.
Rosado previously served as a researcher and advisor to Brazil’s Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute and its National Petroleum Agency; a member of the Center for Development, Petroleum, Energy and Mining in Rio de Janiero; and a lawyer for Petrobras, years before the recent scandal.
Rosado said that until a series of constitutional reforms were enacted in Brazil beginning in the 1990s, many in the country were unaware of what a myriad of energy regulatory agencies were supposed to be doing. This led to a general lack of accountability in the sector, she said.
That has changed in recent years, Rosado said, especially after the public furor over the Petrobras scandal. And now, with new shale oil and natural gas plays and offshore development, Brazilian society has a fresh opportunity to prosper from its energy resources, she said.
Rosado spoke April 16 to students and faculty in the Law Center’s Hendricks Heritage Room. The event was sponsored by UHLC’s Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Center.