Petrobras Plans to Invest $1.9 Billion in Gulf of Mexico

HOUSTON, May 03, 2005 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex)

Petrobras SA (PBR) will invest $1.9 billion in Gulf of Mexico oil and gas exploration and development over the next five years, Petrobras America Inc. President Renato Bertani said at a conference Monday.

The Brazilian state oil giant, which was the leading bidder at an eastern Gulf of Mexico lease sale held March 16, will concentrate in three areas - ultra-deepwater, deep shelf, and the western Gulf of Mexico, Bertani said.

"It is important for us to focus," Bertani told Dow Jones Newswires. "The Gulf is huge."

The company plans to spend $400 million in exploration and $1.5 billion in development, Bertani said.

Petrobras plans to drill seven wells in the Gulf of Mexico in 2005, four as a partner and three as an operator. The company plans to drill four or five wells in 2006 - if it finds the necessary equipment, according to Bertani.

"Availability of rigs, especially in deepwater, is very tight," said Bertani. "There's an element of uncertainty there."

Petrobras is also interested in the Mexican part of the Gulf of Mexico - currently off-limits to stake ownership by foreign oil companies.

"We want to be around for the day when it will eventually become open," said Bertani. (C) 2005 FWN Financial News. All Rights Reserved

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