2013 Industry Pioneers

Alvaro Alves Teixeira

For 35 years, Alvaro Teixeira applied his skill as an engineer and geoscientist to help Petróleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) emerge as one of the world’s leading oil producers. His team integrated Geology, Paleontology, Geophysics and Engineering expertise to take advantage of the seismic revolution of the 1960s, which ultimately resulted in the ability to obtain clear seismic images below salt and basalt—targeting the so-called pre-salt sediments.

In 1963, Teixeira participated in the pre-salt Carmópolis discovery that remains today as the biggest onshore accumulation of oil in Brazil. Later in his Petrobras career, he was responsible for negotiating several foreign contracts. Perhaps the most notable was the discovery of the giant Majnoon Field in South Iraq, classified as the biggest oil discovery of the 1970s.

From 1989 to 1993, Teixeira served as General Secretary of Arpel, an international association of the 17 state oil companies of Latin America plus PetroCanada and Repsol (Spain). He oversaw the privatization of Arpel, breaking the national oil monopoly and paving the way for private companies to enter the region.

In the twilight of his career, he worked at the Instituto Brasileiro de Petróleo Gás e Biocombustiveis (IBP) as general secretary, where he implemented the New Petroleum Law which opened the country to private national and international oil companies. Specifically, he addressed the challenges of legal, taxation, environmental issues, and new concession contracts under the New Petroleum Law. IBP is recognized as the most important exploration and production forum in Brazil today.