"It's a new basin but it has good potential for reserves, which will top 1Bboe," he said.
The company has interests in several exploration blocks and will develop at least six new fields in the basin in coming years.
Total investments in the area through 2015 are estimated at some US$18bn.
Specifically, the two main development programs are the Mexilhao field and the three fields in the BS-500 block. Mexilhao and BS-500 are each budgeted at US$2bn and due to start producing natural gas in 2009 and 2010 respectively, said Marcusso.
The exploration program, which lies within the ring fence of existing fields and new exploration blocks, requires a total budget of 900mn reais (US$438mn) in 2007, he said.
"The Santos basin unit works in close cooperation with the exploration and production unit of Rio de Janeiro and we have an active exploration program," he said.
By 2010, the company plans to be producing some 30Mm3/d of natural gas in the Santos basin and 100,000b/d of oil, up from current production of 1.5MM3/d of gas and 5,000b/d of liquids.
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