Brazil: A Indústria Do Gás Deve Crescer

Diferentemente do que sugere o título, esse artigo não fará uma previsão sobre o comportamento da indústria e do consumo do gás natural no Brasil; também não fará uma exortação para que o gás ocupe uma melhor posição na matriz energética nacional. Ele apresentará razões pelas quais não é possível fazer essa previsão e essa exortação. Um título menos ambíguo, mas muito longo seria: a indústria do gás deve amadurecer regulatória e institucionalmente para poder, de fato, crescer.

O amadurecimento deveria começar já noupstream, pois a atual orientação é de tratar o gás como uma fonte de energia infantil e dependente. Está na hora "repensar a relação" entre gás e petróleo.

Embora uma separação de regimes dos dois hidrocarbonetos seja complexa, ou inexequível, não é desarrazoado inverter a lógica atual de vassalagem do gás em relação ao petróleo. Em certas hipóteses – p.ex., pesquisaonshoreem áreas onde se presume encontrar maiores quantidades de gás do que de petróleo – por que não estruturar a pesquisa e a produção de modo a privilegiar e respeitar as exigências e características específicas do hidrocarboneto que se supõe predominante? A título de provocação: talvez fosse conveniente aplicar um regime de pesquisa e exploração que aproveitasse elementos que hoje estão em discussão no âmbito do novo marco da mineração, em particular, aqueles que fomentam um amplo acesso à pesquisa do insumo.

Diante dos pobres resultados obtidos na expansão da malha de transporte com a Lei 11.909/2009, os tempos estão também maduros para a criação de um regime economicamente menos pretensioso e burocraticamente mais flexível do que o atual para o transporte. A busca louvável pela segurança do investimento do transportador – materializada no procedimento de chamada pública e de contratação prévia de capacidade – mostrou-se não apenas ineficaz para produzir os resultados esperados, como deu origem a um procedimento de contratação complexo, demorado e que ainda acaba por eliminar no nascedouro iniciativas empresariais desejáveis (penso na impossibilidade de o transportador assumir o risco de dimensionar o gasoduto, a despeito dos resultados da chamada pública). Não precisamos voltar à singeleza do regime da Lei 9.478/1997, mas não temos que sacrificar oportunidades de expansão da malha no altar da certeza do planejamento asfixiante.

Ainda no segmento de transporte, o setor está também pronto para prestar maior atenção às franjas da malha de gasodutos. Uma melhor identificação e disciplina dos dutos de transferência, de escoamento da produção, e outros, seria recomendável. Por vezes, estas franjas não são apenas apêndices ocasionais de um empreendimento, mas podem servir a vários agentes e assumir função estratégica de garantir a formação de um robusto mercado de gás natural, viabilizando a presença de diferentes ofertantes do produto, coisa que hoje não há. Generalização e forte fiscalização do livre acesso, junto com a especificação de novas atividades de movimentação de gás natural podem contribuir.

É também importante revisitar o tema da desverticalização e as esferas possíveis de atuação de grupos empresariais (e não apenas das empresas), ao longo das diferentes etapas da cadeia da indústria, sobretudo no âmbito do carregamento e transporte. A matéria possui um tratamento escasso atualmente e não faria mal radicalizar a tímida regra de proteção à concorrência que temos hoje.

Finalmente, também não faria mal uma maior clareza acerca das relações e limites entre as atividades que estão na ponta da indústria, as quais ainda se encontram embaralhadas e que – complicação específica – são os principais atores de um (des)arrajno federativo: falo da distribuição e da comercialização. Este é o ponto mais espinhoso do ponto de vista jurídico, por requerer uma sempre difícil articulação da União com todos os Estados. Mas não há como deixá-lo de fora, pois aí está o ponto de chegada (ou de partida) da formação de um verdadeiro mercado de gás no Brasil.

Por razões de espaço, vamos apenas deixar algumas perguntas cruciais: é possível separar em algum grau – como fez o setor elétrico – a distribuição da comercialização de gás? Se é possível, quem tem competência para realizar essa tarefa? A União pode estabelecer um mercado homogêneo de gás natural, de alcance nacional? A figura do consumidor livre é elemento a ser disciplinado pela União, ou pelos Estados (neste último caso, com o risco de termos que conviver com áreas de liberdade e áreas de "cativeiro", divididas por fronteiras estaduais)? Mais genericamente, qual é a boa dinâmica para a relação União/Estados na indústria?

Por fim, um tema obrigado é a análise do papel desejável da Petrobras na indústria. A questão é complexa e não cabe num parágrafo, mas fica aqui apenas assinalada. Enfim, estas são algumas questões que carecem de uma análise mais detida, mas que parecem impedir a previsão otimista e a exortação acerca do crescimento da indústria.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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