Rio de Janeiro, Oct 28 (IANS/EFE) Brazilian state-controlled energy giant Petrobras said signs of oil found at in its first deepwater exploration well in the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin mark the opening of a new ‘exploratory frontier’.
The Rio de Janeiro-based company said the crude discovered in the Barra well of that basin, located off the coasts of the northeastern states of Sergipe and Alagoas, is similar in quality to the light oil currently extracted from the offshore Campos Basin, which accounts for the lion’s share of Brazil’s current hydrocarbons output.
Petrobras said in a statement that ‘large accumulations’ were found in the distal portions of that basin, with volumes exceeding those discovered in the shallower Guaricema and Dourado fields.
‘This is a new exploratory frontier. The information obtained thus far is sufficient to confirm the discovery of a new oil frontier in the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin,’ the statement added.
The Barra well was drilled at a spot roughly 58 km off the coast of Sergipe state, at a water depth of 2,341 meters.
The deposit was found in the BM-SEAL-11 block, in which Petrobras is the operator and 60 percent stakeholder and IBV Brasil Petroleo – a unit of Bharat PetroResources Ltd. and Videocon Industries Ltd – owns the remaining 40 percent.
The pioneer well tested deposits in an area measuring almost 70 sq km, according to Petrobras, which said drilling will continue to sample older and deeper reservoirs.
The announcement of the discovery of the new frontier comes a week after Petrobras’ latest well test at the giant Tupi offshore field confirmed it holds between 5-8 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
Tupi was one of the first major finds in Brazil’s pre-salt cluster, so-named because the estimated 80 billion barrels of oil equivalent that area may contain are located deep below the ocean floor under a layer of salt up to 2 km thick.
Covering a 160,000 sq km area, the pre-salt finds could lead to a nearly six-fold increase in Brazil’s current proven reserves of 14 billion barrels and transform the South American nation into a major oil exporter.
Petrobras, which operates in 28 countries on five continents, is the world’s second-largest oil company by market capitalisation after carrying out a massive share offering in recent weeks.
Brazil’s largest company and one of the world’s fastest-growing oil firms in recent years, Petrobras produces an average of roughly 2.5 million barrels per day of oil and natural gas equivalent at its domestic and foreign fields.