Petrobras Declares Two Campos Basin Oil Fields Commercial

Petrobras Declares Two Campos Basin Oil Fields Commercial

RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA said Thursday it declared two offshore oil fields in the Campos Basin holding an estimated 350 million barrels of oil commercially viable.

Petrobras, as the state-run energy giant is more commonly known, said the Aruana and Oliva fields would be renamed Tartaruga Verde and Tartaruga Mestica, respectively. Tartaruga Verde holds an estimated 230 million barrels of oil equivalent, or BOE, while Tartaruga Mestica has 121 million BOE.

The two fields, however, are unlikely to help Petrobras shake off its recent production troubles. Tartaruga Verde and Tartaruga Mestica aren't expected to start producing crude oil until 2017, with initial development part of the company's $237 billion investment plan for the 2012-2016 period, Petrobras said.

Petrobras's output dropped sharply throughout 2012 as maintenance work at several offshore platforms undercut production. While production recovered late in the year as maintenance work was completed, company officials said output would likely remain stable in 2013 at about 2.02 million barrels per day. Crude oil production is not expected to increase until end-2014 at the earliest, when some of the new ultra-deepwater discoveries made in the mid-2000s come onstream.

Petrobras holds 100% stakes in Tartaruga Verde and Tartaruga Mestica.

Late Wednesday, Petrobras also said that a promising subsalt find called Carcara was expected to start production in 2018. The Carcara discovery generated industry excitement because it's among the thickest reservoirs ever discovered in Brazil's offshore subsalt region. The presalt is a cluster of ultra-deepwater oil finds made off the coasts of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo states.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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