French oil major Total announced Tuesday that it has taken over from Petrobras as the operator of the offshore Xerelete concession in Brazil's Campos Basin.
The transfer followed a unanimous decision by the Xerelete partners and approval by the Brazilian authorities. Total and Petrobras each hold a 41.2-percent interest in Xerelete block, while BP hold the remaining 17.6 percent.
"Total is looking forward to bringing its worldwide expertise in ultra-deep offshore operations to Brazil," said Ladislas Paszkiewicz, Total's senior vice president for Exploration & Production Americas.
"Our decision to assume operatorship of Xerelete is part of the Group’s strategy to strengthen its exploration and production activities in Brazil. It demonstrates our willingness to expand our presence in the country."
The Xerelete field, located around 155 miles off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, was discovered in 2001 in water depths of 7,875 feet and contains relatively heavy oil (17 to 20-degree API). A pre-salt prospect has also been identified below the Xerelete structure, which lies around 25 miles west of the recently announced Pão de Açucar discovery.
Total plans to start drilling activities in 2013.
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