Brazil: Petrobras discovers light oil in Santos basin

21 December 2007

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 21 Dec – Brazilian state-controlled energy company Petrobras announced Thursday that it has discovered oil in a deepwater bloc in a pre-salt layer of the Santos basin.

The well was discovered 280 kilometers off the coast of Sao Paulo state at a depth of 5,350 meters. Petrobras has an 80 percent stake in the undertaking, with Portugal’s Galp Energia holding the remaining 20 percent of shares.

Petrobras said in a statement that the consortium will continue activities and investments needed to ascertain the size of the well and the characteristics of its reserves. The companies are also drawing up an Evaluation of Discovery Plan that will be sent to the National Petroleum Agency (ANP).

The discovery is another indication that the pre-salt area, oil reserves below existing salt layers a few kilometers below the sea bed, could hold extensive, high-quality oil reserves.

In November, Petrobras announced the discovery of the huge Tupi oilfield, an ultra- deepwater zone in the Santos basin with estimated reserves of 5 billion to 8 billion barrels, which could increase the firm’s oil and gas reserves by between 40 to 60 percent.

Petrobras and its partners have identified signs of oil in different parts of the pre-salt layer, which extends for 800 kilometers from the coast of Espirito Santo to Santa Catarina. The wells were drilled in three basins: Espirito Santo, Campos and Santos. (macauhub)