Petrobras Data on 'Massive Discoveries' Stolen, Police Investigate

Brazil's federal police are investigating the theft of "important information" from state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR), or Petrobras, a company press official said Thursday.

The company is already taking measures regarding the theft, but cannot give further details in order not to harm the investigation, the official said.

A hard drive and two notebooks were stolen from a container while it was being transported from a research platform to Petrobras' Campos Basin headquarters in Macae north or Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian Web site Terra said earlier Thursday. The objects were being transported by U.S. oilfield service company Halliburton Co. (HAL), the Web site said.

The hardware contained confidential information on research that led to recent discoveries of massive new oil and gas fields in ultra-deep waters off the Brazilian coast, Terra said, without giving sources.

Petrobras neither confirmed nor denied the details from the Web site.

Petrobras in November had said its Tupi discovery in ultra-deep waters in Brazil's Santos Basin could contain up to 8 billion barrels of oil equivalent in reserves. In January, the company said it made a massive natural gas discovery in a nearby area, which it called Jupiter.

Copyright (c) 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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