The Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque, said today (27) that the opening of the natural gas market in Rondônia will enhance gas exploration in the Solimões and Amazon river basin, in the Amazon region. The statement was made during the solemnity announcing 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 segment of exploration and supply of natural gas.
In the Amazon River Basin region, the production of natural gas began in 2021, with the exploitation of the Azulão field. According to Eneva, the company that bought the field, the gas produced in Azulão will be used in the generation of 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 Rondonia's energy supply, but gas is also a very important input for industry. 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 that will happen with the gas potential in the Solimões and Amazon Basin and that will certainly benefit the state of Rondônia," said Albuquerque.
Among other points, the new legislation ended the concession regime for the exploration of the product and created new criteria for access to the essential infrastructure to move the natural gas and the regime of entry and exit of the product in the pipelines.
Now, companies interested in exploring natural gas need only an authorization from the National Petroleum Agency (ANP). Another point of the law is that different companies can operate in different stages of the gas production chain, such as transportation, since the legislation guarantees free access to the gas pipelines for these agents.
"Before, we didn't have access to the entire natural gas infrastructure, because for many years there was a monopoly in the country, held by Petrobras, which was not able to provide the best service, even for reasons of investment resources. This new gas legal framework propitiated 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, it is still necessary that the states change their legislation to adapt. The Constitution guarantees the competence of the federal entities to regulate local piped gas services, such as distribution.
Besides Rondônia, other states have already changed their legislation, such as Maranhão, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí and Ceará. Rio Grande do Norte has already sent a project to the Legislative Assembly to change the local legislation.