La fiebre del petróleo de Brasil

SAO PAULO – Brasil está por ocupar un lugar entre las potencias petroleras del mundo. Los cálculos de sus reservas recién descubiertas lo colocan en el octavo lugar de las naciones productoras de crudo, por delante de Nigeria y del país que es su rival por la influencia en América Latina, Venezuela. Una riqueza así es generalmente fuente de celebración. Pero el Presidente Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, tal vez temeroso de la tristemente célebre “maldición de los recursos” que ha afectado el desarrollo de tantos países dotados con riquezas minerales, está decidido a que la nueva riqueza petrolera no se convierta en “tonterías”.

En 2007 se descubrieron enormes depósitos de petróleo en las costas de Brasil. Según cálculos modestos, esas reservas son de alrededor de 30 mil millones de barriles. Credit Suisse y otros bancos de inversión afirman que hay 50 mil millones de barriles disponibles.

El descubrimiento es resultado de una política estratégica que se ha mantenido a lo largo de varias administraciones brasileñas, algo poco común en América Latina. En 1989, Cuando la guerra Irán–Iraq puso a temblar a los países consumidores de petróleo, Brasil comenzó a realizar exploraciones tanto dentro como fuera de su zona protegida de 200 millas náuticas. El tamaño de las áreas oceánicas era inmenso, lo que les valió el nombre de “la Amazonia azul”.

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