Brazil to become world’s seventh largest producer of oil

11 September 2009

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1 Sept – Brazil is to become the seventh largest producer of oil in the world, if the potential production of the country’s reserves is confirmed, the Brazilian Mining and Energy Minister said Thursday.

Edson Lobão said during an audience at the National Congress that Brazil, which is currently the 13th largest world producer, would have reserves of 16 billion barrels.

That amount of production is estimated at just four of the fields discovered, which represent just a third of the 140,000 square kilometre area of the reserves below the salt layer, at depths of up to 7,000 metres.

“That (reserves of 16 billion barrels) represents 30 present of the pre-salt layer. We cannot say what will come from the 70 percent,” the minister said cited by the Senado news agency.

Brazil is currently the seventh biggest consumer of oil in the world and the 40th biggest consumer of natural gas, according to the minister.

Last week, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced four proposals for exploration of those reserves, with increased state participation.

Amongst the changes to current legislation, which dates back to 1997 and opened up the Brazilian market to foreign investment and set up the concession system, state oil company Petrobras will become the operator ofall oil blocks below the salt layer.

In all the areas offered up in public tenders in the future Petrobrás will have a minimum stake of 30 percent. (macauhub)