Brazilian firm announces new deepwater oil findApril 30th, 2011 - 12:07 pm ICT by IANS
Sao Paulo, April 30 (IANS/EFE) State-controlled energy giant Petrobras announced the discovery of a new high-quality crude deposit in deep waters off Brazil’s southeastern coast.
Located in the Albacora field of the Campos basin, about 170 km off the coast, the deposit is part of the vast, newly discovered pre-salt region.
The accumulation was discovered after drilling a well to a depth of 4,385 meters.
The preliminary analysis indicates the deposit holds an estimated 350 million barrels of high-quality crude, Petrobras said Thursday.
Located in a roughly 160,000 sq km offshore area, the pre-salt fields are estimated to contain roughly 80 billion barrels of oil equivalent and could potentially transform the South American nation into a major crude exporter.
But accessing them will be very costly and pose an enormous technical challenge because they are located at depths of up to 7,000 meters. Drastic changes in temperature as the oil is brought to the surface also add to the technical complexity of developing those fields.
A law signed late last year declares the pre-salt reserves to be state property and stipulates that they will be explored and developed by consortiums in which Petrobras will have a minimum 30 percent stake.
It establishes a production-sharing model in which the consortiums must give the Brazilian government a percentage of the extracted crude. They will also be required to make royalty payments.
Under the legislation, Petrobras is the operator of all projects and also can be awarded exploration contracts without a competitive bidding process.
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Tags: accumulation, brazilian firm, brazilian government, campos basin, competitive bidding process, consortiums, deep waters, drastic changes, energy giant, enormous technical challenge, exploration contracts, offshore area, oil equivalent, petrobras, royalty payments, salt fields, south american nation, southeastern coast, state property, technical complexity