Petrobras Finds Light Oil Off Brazil Coast

RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazilian energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, announced Friday that it has found light oil in deep waters off the nation's coast in a block jointly exploited with foreign firms.

A company statement said the discovery was verified by oil sampling in tests performed in reserves located at an approximate depth of 5,250 meters.

The new well, named Cariocal Sela, is in block BM-S-9 of the so-called pre-salt oil reserves, off Brazil's southeast Atlantic coast beneath kilometers of ocean, bedrock, and hot salt-beds.

The National Petroleum Agency estimates that these huge pre-salt reserves, discovered in 2010, could hold more than 100 billion barrels of high-quality recoverable crude.

The Petrobras statement said 27 API oil--petroleum liquid above 10 on the API scale is termed light oil--was recovered at a depth of 2,149 meters in the well 270 kilometers from the coast of Sao Paulo state.

The company said a consortium formed by Petrobras, the U.K.'s BG Group and Repsol Sinopec Brasil--an alliance of Spain's Repsol and China's Sinopec--would continue the activities and necessary investments for assessing the reserves found in the area, including the drilling of new wells.

Petrobras said Thursday it would begin exploiting two wells of light crude oil in deep waters in the south of the Santos basin, about 200 km south of Sao Paulo state.

"Total recoverable volumes are estimated at 113.4 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) for the Bauna field and 83.1 million boe for the Piracaba field, both containing light oil in sandstone reservoirs located above the salt layer," it noted.

In 2010, Petrobras was the world's third biggest oil producer in terms of market value at $228 billion. By late last month it had fallen to 5th place, with its value down to $156 billion, according to the daily newspaper O Globo.

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


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Shirley | Mar. 5, 2012
, "radicalism, tomorrows crpourtion today." actually, he said, "... tomorrows conservatism today." but, he wouldnt have minded me altering his observation just a bit to fit the sit ... u-ation.i find it interesting that two of the most intellectually corrupt presidents ever, in our entire history, were law professors. and, to note, that bill clinton and barack obama have felt less bound by law, especially those laws relating to campaign finance and crpourtion, than any two presidents we have ever seen.never vote for an ex-law professor. they turn out to be full time crooks. john jaymilton freewater, oregon usa

Phil Eyler | Feb. 27, 2012
Wow! That looks like a lot of oil! But add those two finds together and it equals just 2.2 days of additional world oil consumption at today's rate.

Ken Ruddy | Feb. 27, 2012
This article incorrectly defines light oil. A previous article in Rig Zone did a better job of categorizing oil grades (see copy/paste below). The author should know that API 10 deg oil is hardly liquid! For reference, West Texas Intermediate is 37-42 deg. Light oil: Also known as "conventional oil," light oil has an API gravity of at least 22° and a viscosity less than 100 centipoise (cp). Heavy Oil: Asphaltic, dense (low API gravity), and viscous oil that is chemically characterized by its content of asphaltenes (very large molecules incorporating most of the sulfur and perhaps 90% of the metals in the oil). Although variously defined, the upper limit for heavy oils has been set at 22°API gravity and a viscosity of less than 100 cP. Extra Heavy Oil: The portion of heavy oil having an API gravity of less than 10°.

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