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IEA: Replacing World Biofuels Would Require 1M B/D More Oil

To replace the global supply of ethanol and biodiesel-based biofuels added to the U.S. and European markets since 2005 would require an additional 1 million barrels of crude oil to be processed per day, the International Energy Agency said Tuesday.

Rising food prices have damped the political will behind biofuel policies, however, the IEA said it was unlikely biofuel targets would be scrapped in the near term.

“It is sobering to realize the amount of oil that would be needed to replace them,” said the IEA.

Global biofuels supply is expected to grow to 1.5 million barrels per day in 2008, said the report.

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Brazil’s Offshore Fields

Zeihan predicts a 2012 start to production at Tupi. Technology needed to tap fields like Tupi, which sit hundreds of miles offshore beneath thousands of feet of rock, sand and salt, hasn’t been developed, he said.

Petrobras, Chevron Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Norsk Hydro ASA plan to start pumping oil from eight Brazilian fields in the next 2 1/2 years that will produce a combined 1.02 million barrels a day, enough to supply two-thirds of the crude used by U.S. East Coast refineries.

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Brazil’s energy producer Petrobras on $112.7 billion expansion

As a result of these huge finds, Petrobras is looking to expand its infrastructure to meet processing requirements. This week, investment bank UBS estimated that the Tupi and Carioca finds off Brazil would need about $600 billion to develop, a massive windfall for oilfield services companies all over the world.

The offshore fields underpin Gabrielli’s plan to increase output 79 per cent by 2015 to the equivalent of 4.2 million barrels of oil. If the company maintains its current proportion of crude and natural-gas production, it will have about 3.5 million barrels of oil a day to refine.

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