Brazil has been tipped by the IEA to be second only to the US in terms of global oil output growth over the next five years. But, since hitting 2.73mn b/d in December 2016, output has consistently underwhelmed. Key deepwater ‘pre-salt’ projects that were to have provided production increments have been hit by a series of delays: offshore gains have no more than kept pace with declines at ageing onshore fields.

This looks to now be changing. After effectively flatlining since...