CHC Group expands in Brazil


CHC Group has opened a new Latin American base at Bartolomeu Lisandro Airport in Campos, Brazil.

The facility, which was opened on 2 April, is being used to house an unspecified fleet of Leonardo AW139s along with 30 employees who will be there to support oil company Shell’s offshore operations in Brazil.

At the opening ceremony, CHC’s regional director for Latin America, Marcelo Soares, thanked Shell and city hall for their collaboration: “This process of mobilization for the Campos base was a great challenge, but all involved worked as true partners, maintaining our standards of excellence for this new operation that Shell has seen from us across our global operation.”

An opening ceremony was attended by Shell executives, the president of private non-profit conglomerate FIRJAN in Campos and Rafael Diniz, the mayor of Campos. The mayor said: “The relevance of this air movement is that it goes beyond the borders of the city, not limiting it only by land, which generates new opportunities for our economy.”

More than 1,000 to 2,000 passengers are expected to fly through the base on oil-and-gas missions throughout its lifetime. Luis Teixeira, Shell’s logistics manager said: “Without a doubt, we will optimize our logistics condition operating from a single base, strategically positioned among the main units in operation of Shell.”

Latin America oil and gas

CHC has seen success in Brazil this year. CHC signed a two-year contract with Brazilian oil producer Statoil to operate a Sikorksy S-92 in Santos Basis in January.

The operator has flown in Latin America since 1992. CHC has a subsidiary based in Brazil and flies predominantly passenger, cargo, oil and gas and MEDEVAC operations across the country and has expanded out of the country to search-and-rescue support in Uruguay

The oil and gas market in Latin America is expected to grow. The region is offering around 1,100 offshore gas blocks to foreign oil companies this year. Mexico started off the year securing an impressive $93 billion in investment pledges and Brazil has secured $2.4 billion so far and plans on offering up 850 onshore and offshore blocks by the end of the year – Reuters has reported. All of the offshore gas blocks will need helicopters to transport workers to, from and between them.

Whilst oil and gas is a big market in Latin America, political uncertainties in countries such as Colombia could deter investment and oil output could slip if the new government in the upcoming May presidential election does not provide greater legal certainty for the market – data and research firm Versik Maplecroft said in its political risk outlook.