With the recent discovery of vast oil reserves off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the country is poised to become the world’s fourth largest oil producer by 2030. Brazilian oil & gas company, Petrobras, has a major challenge ahead: investing in infrastructure to explore and exploit this oil, which is located deep in the ocean, below a layer of salt, rock and sand. Today, even without this major new development, Petrobras is the largest company in Brazil and the 8th largest company in the world in market value. The company is present in 29 countries with more than 100 production oil platforms, 16 refineries, 30,000 kilometers of pipelines and more than 6,000 service stations. Petrobras’ reserves are approximately 14 billion barrels of oil, a figure expected to double in the next few years with the pre-salt discovery.

It is not widely known but foreign companies are allowed to register as suppliers of Petrobras through an online database of registered suppliers of services and goods. Petrobras’ demand for products and services is enormous, from simple products like pieces of furniture to biochemicals, information technology products and heavy equipment. English versions of the lists of goods and services that are of interest to Petrobras may be found at http://cadastro.petrobras.com.br/portal/ index.cfm?id=1&lang=eng (click on goods or services). Every company, Brazilian or not, that is a supplier of goods or services of interest to Petrobras may request registration in the Petrobras Supplier Portal of goods and services.

The process of registration is divided into two phases. During the first phase, the company completes a questionnaire with identifying information and submits a formal letter requesting registration. After an initial approval from Petrobras, the second phase will require the applicant to submit technical, legal, financial, and managerial information about the company. The first phase of the questionnaire may be submitted in English but the second phase must be done in Portuguese. During the questionnaire evaluation, Petrobras may decide to schedule a visit to the company’s facilities to obtain additional information about the company.

At the end of the registration process, approved applicants will be certified as Petrobras suppliers, which will represent a substantial advantage over non-registered companies in Petrobras bids. Companies that obtain registration are prequalified by Petrobras to be a supplier in future bids. Visibility to Petrobras contractors is another advantage of being registered. The Petrobras supplier webportal is a source for Petrobras contractors to find potential suppliers to team up with on future Petrobras bids.