HRT Plans New Exploration, Production Wells at Polvo Field

RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazilian oil startup HRT Participacoes em Petroleo SA plans a new exploration campaign at the offshore Polvo heavy oil field the company acquired earlier this month, Chief Executive Milton Franke said Wednesday.

HRT paid $135 million to the local unit of BP PLC for BP's 60% stake in the field, which produces about 13,000 barrels of crude per day. Mr. Franke noted that the field offers opportunities to boost production, which has declined since starting in 2007.

"Production is in decline, and we want to introduce measures to sustain production and increase the life of the field," Mr. Franke said.

HRT plans to drill new exploration and production wells at Polvo and the surrounding area of the Campos Basin, an region off Brazil's coast that produces more than 85% of the country's crude oil. While Polvo is a small-producing field, Mr. Franke emphasized that the field lies along a broader trend that includes other larger producing fields.

"This asset offers risk, but it's important to stress the tremendous upsides" in the area surrounding Polvo, Mr. Franke said. "With HRT's knowledge, we are certain we can make use of these upsides."

HRT also expects to complete drilling and evaluation activities of the Wingat prospect, the company's first well in its exploration blocks off the coast of Namibia, by next week, said Joe Paul, head of HRT America. Mr. Paul succeeds Wagner Peres, who resigned last week.

"Well results will be forthcoming," Mr. Paul said.

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

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