Socio-Economic Data

Macaé is the fourth city of the state of Rio de Janeiro in quality of life, according to the Municipal Development Index, made by Firjan in 2011, based on 2009 data. Macaé is one of the 167 Brazilian cities – 10% of the total – rated above 0.8, the score for high development cities.


- Population in 2010: 206,748

- GDP per capita: R$ 42 thousand

- Territorial area: 1,229.8 square kilometers

- Climate: warm and wet, with temperatures between 18ºC e 30ºC

- Access highways: BR-101, RJ-168 e RJ-106


- Energy

Campos Basin

The mainspring of Macaé’s economy is at high sea. Considered the largest oil reserve of the Brazilian continental shelf, Campos Basin has around 100 thousand square kilometers, from the state of Espírito Santo, near the city of Vitória, to Arraial do Cabo, in the northern shore of Rio de Janeiro State. Today, this basin is responsible for about 84% of national oil production.

The Campos Basin exploration began, by the end of 1976, with the well 1-RJS-9-A, which originated Garoupa field, located at a water depth of 100 meters. The commercial production began in August, 1977, with the well 3-EM-1-RJS, with a flow rate of 10,000 barrels per day, in Enchova field.

Located at shallow waters, the first oil platforms built were fixed. However, surface seismic surveys indicated large structures favorable for oil presence below a water depth of 200 meters.

Today, under the responsibility of Petrobras, Campos Basin has 44 fields in operation with 775 wells, which 591 are producing ones. There are 14 fixed platforms, 39 semi-submersibles, 21 floating production, storage and offloading units (FPSO), 16 floating storage units (FSU) and two floating, storage and offloading units (FSO). Furthermore, the Basin counts with two safety maintenance unities responsible for fixing producing units.

The entire system is linked by 4,297 kilometers of flexible subsea lines connecting the wells to the oil platforms. There are 42 helicopters – one air medical – to provide support to the complex. Today, about 60 thousand people work in companies involved in oil exploration and another 50 thousand work indirectly for this activity.

Cabiúnas Onshore Terminal

Macaé is also the largest natural gas processor in Brazil, which capacity reaches 19.7 million cubic meters of gas per day. Run by Transpetro, Cabiúnas Terminal is responsible for the distribution of 16% of the oil produced in Campos Basin to the refineries of Duque de Caxias (Reduc), in Rio de Janeiro, and Gabriel Passos (Regap), in Minas Gerais.

Recently, Cabiúnas Terminal has received R$ 1.7 billion in investments, which increased its area from 1.37 million square meters to 3.29 million square meters, and also raised the gas processing capacity from 14.9 to 19.7 million cubic meters of gas per day. This capacity will increase to 25.1 million cubic meters of gas per day due to Pre-Salt Business Plan investments.

Cabiúnas Terminal (Tecab) receives all the gas from Campos Basin, used as raw material for many products, like natural gas itself, natural gas liquids and liquefied petroleum gas. Tecab has eight petroleum storage tanks, four natural gasoline tanks, five storage spheres for liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas liquids, four oil pipelines and seven gas pipelines.

BR Distribuidora

BR Distribuidora invested R$ 100 million in expanding and unification of its logistics base in just one place for chemical products supply of Campos Basin Exploration and Production. The new area, of 107.2 thousand square meters, is near Petrobras’ Parque de Tubos and should begin to be used in 2014. This new BR Distribuidora site in Macaé will generate new jobs, during the construction and afterwards.

Pre-salt: the future is here

Pre-salt is a sequence of sedimentary rocks that were accumulated over 100 million years at the geographical area formed by the Gondwana break-up, specifically, by America and Africa split, which has begun 150 million years ago.

Initially, between these two continents, a large lake was formed where petroleum source rocks were accumulated – all rivers flowed to this lake therefore much organic matter was deposited. As far as the lake was becoming larger, seawater began coming into it which triggered the deposit of a thick salt layer, up to 2,000 meters, on the organic matter that changed to hydrocarbons (petroleum and natural gas).

The discoveries made are still in the evaluation stage, so, production development plans are not completed nor approved. However, preliminary tests, made in four pre-salt areas, suggest recoverable volumes between 10.6 billion and 16 billion barrels of oil equivalent – BOE (petroleum and gas), which would double Brazilian oil and gas reserves.

In September, 2008, Petrobras has begun the production of the first pre-salt well in deep water, in Jubarte field, in Campos Basin, off the coast of Espírito Santo. Today, Petrobras already has five operating reservoirs in Campos Basin pre-salt. Besides Jubarte, Brava, Baleia Franca, Carimbé and Tracajá reservoirs are also producing.

All of them are on the extended well test. Recently, Petrobras has discovered new oil accumulation in Campos Basin pre-salt, in Albacora field, 107km off the coast of Macaé and just 3.2km from P-31 production platform.


Petrobras, YPF,Shell, Halliburton, Chevron, FMC, Devon, Acergy, BP, Pride, Statoil Idro, Aggreko, Esso. Falk Nutec, Texaco, Sub Sea 7, Repson, Transocean, OGX, Cooper Cameron, Schlumberger and Aker Kvaerner.


Until the 1920s, Macaé was at its economic peak becoming the agricultural powerhouse of the state, due to coffee plantation, responsible for approximately 60% of economic activities of the city.

However, in the 1930s, at the dawn of Era Vargas, the coffee crisis changed the whole country, including Macaé: 80% of the sector companies went bankrupted in the city. The coffee crisis was a huge disaster for the city economy.

Economic prosperity came back, little by little, just since 1945 due to the revival of the trade. But the situation really changed only in 1979 when Petrobras built an operational base in Macaé and started exploring Campos Basin.

In early 80s, the oil production was at a reasonable level. At that time, Macaé became the first Brazilian city to claim royalty payment on oil exploration. The goal was to change Law 2004, from the 50s, which regulated royalties payment just on onshore oil exploration.

The goal was achieved in 1982, when Law 7453 was approved. This Law granted, for 37 cities, royalty payment on oil extraction in Campos Basin. It was the dawn of royalties, responsible for 50% of the budget of Macaé nowadays. Today, after the change of “Lei do Petroleo” (Oil Law), and the end of state monopoly, royalties payment are related to the monthly production of the producing field.

Macaé and other oil producing cities struggle against any more changes of royalties laws because all negative impacts strike the oil and gas producing region. Ompetro, Organização dos Municípios Produtores de Petróleo (Organization of the Oil Producing Cities), – formed by Macaé, Arraial do Cabo, Armação de Búzios, Cabo Frio, Campos dos Goytacazes, Carapebus, Casimiro de Abreu, Rio das Ostras, Quissamã, São João da Barra and Niterói – is an organization that defends the rights of the oil producing cities.

Ompetro and the city of Macaé defend Oil Law (Law 9.478) in post-salt and also pre-salt bid areas because royalties are paid as a compensation for impacts caused by the oil and gas production and exploration activities. Public works, investments in health, education, environment, urban infrastructure, popular housing, sports, leisure, tourism, agriculture and economic development in Macaé would suffer without the resources from the royalties.

Royalties Income


  • 1999     34,813,588.03
  • 2000     86,219,323.80
  • 2001     115,248,932.43
  • 2002     181,525,104.87
  • 2003     283,177,548.35
  • 2004     287,551,201.31
  • 2005     347,870,813.54
  • 2006     413,116,830.41
  • 2007     358,203,835.34
  • 2008     519,415,834.09
  • 2009     367,797,120.71
  • 2010     463,105,954.87
  • 2011       31,798,104.96 (just January)

Thermal Power Stations

There will be more three thermal power stations (TPS) in Macaé. In fact, there is already a licensing process for them. A preliminary permit was issued by Inea - Instituto Estadual do Ambiente (Environment State Institute) - approving the designated location for the construction that shall be on RJ-168 (Macaé-Glicério Road).

The TPS shall have an area of 111,000 square meters. For power generation, the TPS will be supplied by natural gas through Cabiúnas gas pipeline which is near the location assigned for the TPS construction.

Macaé already has two gas thermal power stations: Norte Fluminense and Mário Lago. Norte Fluminense TPS has a capacity of 780 MW, energy enough to supply a population over 2 million people. Mário Lago TPS started working in December, 2001, and reached its maximum capacity (928 MW) in August, 2002. In March, 2006, Petrobras bought the TPS, and, since then, runs it.

Natural Gas

Macaé is responsible for the distribution of 90% of natural gas produced in Campos Basin. There are 15 Compressed Natural Gas Stations in the city. Besides that, since 2003, Macaé is linked to CEG Rio – Companhia Estadual de Gás (State Gas Company) – which provides natural gas for stoves. An investment of R$ 8 million was made for the construction of a 27 km gas pipeline. Today, CEG is available in 20 neighborhoods.


The city is the headquarters for the Laboratory of Petroleum Engineering and Exploration, one of a kind in Latin America. It produces about 30 projects per year in Master’s and Doctoral degrees and graduates top professionals.

Focusing on providing support to offshore activities, Instituto Macaé de Metrologia e Tecnologia – IMMT – (Macaé Institute of Metrology and Technology) was created. It is the only representative from Rio de Janeiro State in Sociedade Brasileira de Metrologia (Brazilian Metrology Society) and a partner of INMETRO (National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology).

In environmental field, there is NUPEM – Núcleo de Pesquisas Ecológicas de Macaé (Macaé Ecological Research Center), which in partnership with the City Prefecture, Petrobras and UFRJ - Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) - , conduct research and environmental projects, especially in Parque Nacional da Restinga de Jurubatiba (Jurubatiba National Park). NUPEM hosts the only UFRJ campus outside Rio de Janeiro city.


Home construction is a growing economic activity. It is one of the leading sectors in job creation in Macaé. Major companies came to the city attracted by population growth and changes in legislation made since 1999. There are more than ten of the largest construction companies from Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo and São Paulo working all over the city. Besides that, Minha Casa, Minha Vida (My House, My Life), a Federal Government Program, also has a huge impact on home construction.

Home construction is a two-way street. Besides job creation, it stimulates local commerce to modernize to survive in an increasingly competitive market. Industrial and commercial subdivisions and the demand for big warehouses spice up local real estate to provide proper room for big enterprises.


Macaé is becoming a local commecial hub. Major wholesalers and retailers came to town. Population growth and the increase of economic and buying power drew the attention of large national and international fast food, clothing and shoes franchises. There are more than 20 bank branches, a big shopping mall – Plaza Macaé – with five cinemas and anchor tenants.


Fishing is a key activity in local economy. There are 1,200 commercial fishermen and a total of 15,000 people who live from fishing in Macaé. There are many species of fish in the region, specially whiting, anchovy, groupers, goldfish, hake and yellowtail.

In Macaé, capture fisheries production is about 600 tons and local fish is also sold in Rio de Janeiro and other 12 states and even exported to United States and Switzerland. The Under Secretary of Fishing offers many services to fishermen, such as: Radio Base and Tugboat.


Macaé has the third largest cattle in Rio de Janeiro State, with 90,663 heads, according to the agricultural census made by IBGE in 2010. The city is well known by its beef and milk production. 60,000 liters are produced per day.

Almost the entire production of milk, cheese, butter, cream cheese and yogurt is made by Cooperativa Agropecuária de Macaé (Coapem), the first dairy company in Macaé. There is also, in Macaé, a dairy factory called Vita Rio which produces pasteurized milk, milk based drink, yogurt, cream cheese, dulce de leche and butter. The factory has a storage capacity of 50,000 liters of milk.


Macaé’s agricultural production is well known in Rio de Janeiro State. The city is the largest black bean producer in the state and also a powerhouse when it comes to corn, manioc, yam and banana. There are 524 agricultural establishments in a total area of 45,904 hectares. Macaé has suitable areas for rural development, including three settlements (Aterrado do Imburo, Bendízia e Celso Daniel) and many rural communities, in fact smallholdings based on family farms.

The city reactivated Fábrica de Farinha (Flour Factory), in Serra da Cruz, where the traditional Festa do Aipim (Manioc Party) happens every June. In July, the traditional Agricultural, Tourism and Industrial Exhibition is held at Latiff Mussi Exhibition Park. The Prefecture of Macaé also inaugurated another exhibition park (Parque de Exposições da Serra) in the district of Córrego do Ouro.

The city government has many projects to develop agricultural activities, some of them are: Feira da Agroindústria Familiar de Macaé (Macaé Family Agro-Industry Fair), which trades from food to handicraft, and Feira do Produtor Rural (Farmer Fair), which sells pesticide-free agricultural products up to 20% off. Despite that, the city government inaugurated Rural Technical School in Córrego do Ouro, in 2012.


Macaé is a city looking for economic diversification and also raising tax collection.

FUMDEC, Fundo Municipal de Desenvolvimento Econômico (Municipal Fund for Economic Development) stimulates local production chains. FUMDEC has a qualified professional team to offer support for businessmen and companies.

Environmental Licensing

Since 2007, Macaé can emit Environmental Licensing Document, through Secretaria Municipal de Ambiente (Environment Municipal Secretary). Rio de Janeiro State adopted a decentralization process, letting the cities emit this document, to hasten new enterprises. This way, there is less bureaucracy to start a business in Macaé than in other Brazilian states.

Condomínio Industrial (Industrial Condo)

Codin, Condomínio Industrial (Industrial Condo) – a 320,000 square meteres área located near the district of Cabiúnas, linked to RJ-178 and BR-101 roads – is intended to offer room to new entrepreneurs and groups to settle down in the city.

The goal is to serve small and medium-sized companies who wish to settle down in Macaé, besides offering room for those who are already in the city but desire to enlarge their bases.



Located in a privileged location, 182 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro, Macaé is directly linked to BR-101, the main road of Brazil, and also to two important interstate roads: RJ-106 (Amaral Peixoto) and RJ-168 (Rodovia do Petróleo). Within the urban area, there are two expressways, Linha Verde and Linha Azul, connecting the two major industrial zones of Macaé, Parque de Tubos and Cabiúnas. The City Government recently built North-South Road to improve traffic flow.

Due to its privileged location and logistics, Macaé is perfectly suitable for new state entrepreneurs: Açu Port Complex, in São João da Barra, Barra do Furado Port and Industrial Complex, in Quissamã, and Rio de Janeiro Petrochemical Complex (Comperj), in Itaboraí.


Macaé Airport is #1 in helicopter takeoff and landing in Latin America. It serves 420,000 passengers, from all over the world – especially oil and gas industry professionals – per year.

Each day, the airport serves 1,300 passengers and there are 200 landings and takeoffs. There are six regular daily domestic flights.


Terminal de Operações Portuárias da Imbetiba has a port area of 55,000 square meters. It handles 230,000 tons of cargo per month. The port has three piers, each with six berths and length of 90 meters and width of 15 meters. The maximum capacity of the port complex is five thousand tons per vessel. In total, 440 moorings per month are registered at the port.


The city government has invested R$ 227 million in sanitation and urban drainage to solve issues with flooding on heavy rain days. The investment is allocated for 150 kilometers of sewage and the construction of 15 pumping stations and canal improvement. It is expected that this set of public works will serve Macaé for the next 20 years.

Public Security

Macaé is the only city in the interior of Rio de Janeiro State included in Pronasci, a Federal Program designed to fight against crime on outskirts of cities. In 2012, the city government supported the police on a peacekeeping operation in two vulnerable neighborhoods – Malvinas and Nova Holanda.


Macaé has 107 municipal schools, which 32 are full time schools. The city has one of the lowest illiteracy rates of the state: only 7.3%, while national average is 9.7%. There are almost 40,000 enrolled students in Early Childhood Education Schools, Elementary Schools, High Schools and specialized units.

Cidade Universitária

Macaé is becoming a new university center in Rio de Janeiro State. Cidade Universitária is a major campus which hosts courses from different institutions, such as: UFF, UFRJ (both Federal Universities) and FeMASS (Faculdade Municipal Professor Miguel Ângelo da Silva Santos), the only municipal college in Rio de Janeiro State. In total, there were 15 courses and about 2,400 enrolled students at Cidade Universitária in 2012.

Sports and Leisure

In Macaé, about 2,000 children attend government sports programs. The city has a good infrastructure for sports events, such as Maurício Soares Bittencourt Multi-Sports Gym, considered the best gym in the interior of Rio de Janeiro State.

Cláudio Moacyr de Azevedo is a 30,000 square meters stadium with a capacity of 20,000, in Barra de Macaé. It has a soccer field, an area for 180 guests, an electronic scoreboard, wheelchair access, 172 stadium reflectors, three stands and security cameras. The stadium can be used as a training ground for Olympic Teams in 2016 Rio Olympic Games.