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Petrobras finds new offshore oil reserves

13th March 2012

New oil discovery could potentially transform Brazil into a major crude exporter.

Major crude oil discovery found off Rio

Huge quantities of high-quality crude have been discovered by Brazilian energy giant Petrobras off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. Between 50-80bn barrels of crude, roughly five times Brazil’s current proved reserves of 14bn barrels, has been found under 1.2 miles of salt, said the company in a statement.

The well will continue to be drilled to determine the final depth of the reserves and evaluate the productivity of the reservoir.

The accumulation was found after a well was dug into a 7,000ft sheet of water located to the northeast of the Lula mega-field in the Santos Basin. The first tests, using samples collected at a depth of 16,260 feet, revealed that the crude has an American Petroleum Industry, or API, density of 26 degrees.

Accessing the fields will be very costly and pose a huge technical challenge because they are located at depths of up to 22,950f under a shifting layer of salt, said Petrobras.

Drastic changes in temperature as the oil is brought to the surface also add to the technical complexity of developing those reserves, it said.

Petrobras plans to invest USD225bn through 2015 as it eyes developing the pre-salt area and boosting production to 5.4m barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2020.

Petrobras, an open capital company controlled by the Brazilian government, registered average oil and gas production of 2.73m barrels of oil equivalent per day in January, up 2.6 per cent relative to the same month of last year

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