Santos basin pre-salt

Banner fixed in the vicinity of the Municipal Fish Market of Ubatuba. Photo: Heraldo Campos.


The importance of shared management of royalties of oil and natural gas

The other day, walking around the Municipal Fish Market in Ubatuba, a city with a strong tourist vocation on the North Coast of the State of São Paulo, in search of sea fish for my lunch at home, I ended up returning empty-handed.

In search of a fish from the vicinity of this maritime region and not from other distant places, since, according to local information, more than 70% of the fish that are sold in the pits come from other supply points, I came across a poster fixed on a of the columns of the Market and then with a band fixed nearby.

This banner, with the logo of the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), informs about the public hearing of the oil and natural gas production and disposal activity in the pre-salt complex of the Santos basin – stage 4 of the entrepreneur Petrobras, to be held in the municipality of Caraguatatuba on May 30, 2023.

In the direction of access existing in this range, for the four municipalities that make up the North Coast of São Paulo, Caraguatatuba, Ilhabela, São Sebastião and Ubatuba, the information reads as follows: “Petrobras will provide free transportation to those interested in participating in the Public Hearings, who reside in the municipalities above, to event locations. Information on locations and transport times will be published in due course”.

For the stage 4 project, the installation and operation of 13 production units are planned, located at a minimum distance of 171 km from the coast of the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, in waters with a depth of over 1.745 m. These units will be responsible for producing oil and gas in 13 Production Development (DPs) projects”.

“The tripod education-health-sanitation is a right of the population. The values ​​existing in the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” of the United Nations (UN), proclaimed by its General Assembly, in Paris, on December 10, 1948, highlight and reinforce this right”.

“Although, apparently, Brazil is starting to administer sovereign wealth funds, it is understood that they could be directed towards improving the daily life of the population and starting to reduce the large deficit in this fundamental area for the well-being of the people , often unassisted by a quality public service”.

“In the 80s, some city halls in Brazil adopted the “Participative Budget” as a mechanism to enable citizens to participate in discussions and deliberations in the search for the best way to apply investments by local administrators. Who knows if this experience of the “Participatory Budget” of direct popular participation could not once again become a political practice, aiming at the adequate application of the economic resources generated by sovereign wealth funds from the royalties oil and natural gas”.[1]

On January 31, 2022, the portal G1 reported the following situation for the four municipalities on the north coast of the state of São Paulo:[2] “In 2020, a total of BRL 463.251.112,43 was transferred to the North Coast. Last year, the sum was R$ 548.924.857,78. Among the four cities, Ilhabela received the most. Check below how much each city received in 2021, according to ANP data: (i) Ilhabela – BRL 296.547.618,11; (ii) São Sebastião – R$134.805.117,66; (iii) Caraguatatuba – BRL 105.249.008,63; (iv) Ubatuba – BRL 12.323.113,38”.

In the same matter, the portal G1 continued with this clarification on the calculation of royalties:

“The calculation is based on a cartographic study that analyzes the municipalities bordering the production fields. The cash share depends on this territorial proportion. The division is ugly based on a study by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). The institute draws an angle for each offshore well and reflects its path to the mainland, observing the impacted municipalities.”

In closing, it is understood that certain things in the so-called “globalized world” such as, for example, fish, end up making this important source of protein a tasteless, bland dish, as it rotates under the ice so much, from one place to another. another, until they reach the consumer's plate. And, between us, not even the “handsome” chefs, who often appear on television giving cooking recipes, repair a product of compromised quality.

Could a fishermen's cooperative improve this offer and, at the same time, provide security for this category of workers in the sector? And, in parallel, mirroring this idea of ​​cooperativism, a type of consortium between municipalities, wouldn't it be an interesting path for the shared management of royalties oil and natural gas and, consequently, the sovereign wealth fund?

It would even be interesting to start to solve, in a shared way, a chronic problem common to these municipalities, which is basic sanitation and garbage collection, which also degrade the quality of this fish and people's lives. Is the sea not the same?

“Lack of cooperation is a protest against lack of conscience and unwitting participation in evil” (Mahatma Gandhi).

* Heraldo Campos, a geologist, is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Hydraulics and Sanitation at the School of Engineering of São Carlos-USP.




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