Brazil oil field’s name changed to `Lula’December 30th, 2010 - 11:51 am ICT by IANS
Rio de Janeiro, Dec 30 (IANS/EFE) Brazilian state-controlled energy giant Petrobras Wednesday confirmed the commercial viability of two massive offshore oil and gas fields located deep beneath the ocean floor, announcing that one of them will now be known as “Lula”.The name of that field, determined to hold 5 billion barrels of recoverable oil equivalent and formerly known as Tupi, was changed in honour of popular two-term President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who Saturday will hand over power to hand-picked successor Dilma Rousseff.
The company informed the ANP energy industry regulator of its decision to declare the commercial viability of the Lula and Cernambi (formerly known as Iracema) fields.
That latter deposit - like Lula - is part of the BM-S-11 block, in which Petrobras owns 65 percent and Britain’s BG Group and Portugal’s Galp Energia have minority stakes. Cernambi holds total recoverable volume of 3.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
The Lula field was discovered in October 2006 and has been touted as the biggest oil find in the Americas since Mexico’s Cantarell in 1976.
The declaration marks the end of Petrobras’ exploratory programme at the two fields and serves as official confirmation of Petrobras’ ability to exploit those deepwater deposits.
Both the Lula and Cernambi fields are located in a vast region known as the pre-salt that measures 800 km long and 200 km wide and is estimated to hold some 80 billion barrels of crude.
But accessing the pre-salt fields will be very costly and pose an enormous technical challenge because they are located some 150 km offshore at depths of between 5,000-7,000 m and under a layer of salt up to 2 km thick.
Drastic changes in temperature as the oil is brought to the surface add to the technical complexity of developing those fields.
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