WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Brazil should place an emphasis on natural gas production from shale in an effort to realize its export potential, an investment forecast said.
The Americas Society and Council of Americas Energy Action Group issued a 24-page report Wednesday highlighting prospects for the Brazilian energy sector.
There may be as much as 50 billion barrels of oil off Brazil's coast, putting it just behind Venezuela in terms of proven oil reserves in South America
The report said crude oil production has been stagnate at around 1.9 million barrels per day as of April, a slight decline from the previous year.
Natural gas that may be one of the emerging bright spots in the Brazilian energy sector.
"With a potential of 500 trillion cubic feet, shale gas would boost Brazil's proven gas reserves to almost double the 226 trillion cubic feet of reserves known so far," the report said.
It said "analysts are optimistic" about the prospects for shale. The first auction for shale reserves is set for November.
"Brazil has the potential to be a significant exporter of natural gas," it said. "Brazil should prioritize development of the natural gas sector, which has a large growth potential."