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Petrobras reserves to double by 2020 with pre-salt exploration

31st May 2013

Petrobras executives say pre-salt exploration and production will be crucial to helping the country double its reserves and oil output by the end the decade

Petrobras reserves to double by 2020 with pre-salt exploration
Petrobra shas made 53 discoveries in Brazil over the past 14 months, 15 of which were pre-salt discoveries

Petrobras reserves will double by 2020, was Petrobras CEO Maria das Graças Silva Foster's resounding projection at this year’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, with new and further exploration of the pre-salt crucial to achieving this goal.

"We have made 53 discoveries in Brazil during the last 14 months. In the pre-salt alone there were 15 discoveries", she emphasised. “Petrobras’ reserves have the potential to double in size and reach 31.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent in the coming years," she added.

The Petrobras CEO highlighted that production in Brazil, which was 2.2 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) per day in 2012, will reach 5.7 million in 2020.

The pre-salt will be largely responsible for these estimated increases. In Petrobras’ new business and management plan, all eyes have turned to the development of this rich geological formation, which will claim 43 per cent of all production developments (USD 46.4bn) and 24 per cent (USD 5.4bn) of exploration activities between 2013-2017.

According to Petrobras pre-salt E&P boss Carlos Tadeu Fraga, who spoke during a panel at OTC, the pre-salt’s total area of 150,000 sq. km is “equivalent to 6,000 blocks in the Gulf of Mexico”.

Total output from pre-salt reservoirs between 2008-2013 has reached 192.4 mmboe, he added, while daily production went over 311,000 barrels per day (bpd) on 17 April, significantly more than double its value in 2011, which was on average 121,000 bpd.

Petrobras’ production target for the area is set to increase from its current 1 mmbpd to 2.1 mmbpd, Tadeu said, which roughly equals Brazil’s total oil production.