Brazil's Subsalt Development to Require $400B over 10 Yrs

RIO DE JANEIRO (Dow Jones Newswires), November 12, 2008

Development of Brazil's promising subsalt oil deposits in the Santos Basin will require investments of approximately $400 billion over 10 years, the president of the National Petroleum Agency told Congress Wednesday.

Quoted by the local Estado news agency, ANP President Haroldo Lima also reiterated in his testimony that subsalt reserves totaled at a minimum 50 billion barrels of oil, and could reach 80 billion barrels. Officials at state-run energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro have declined to confirm Lima's figures.

Lima sent shock waves through the global oil industry in April, when he said just the area around the Carioca prospect in the Santos Basin could contain more than 30 billion barrels of oil.

So far, Petrobras has released reserve estimates for two fields: Tupi and Iara. Last year, Petrobras estimated Tupi's reserves at between 5 billion and 8 billion barrels of oil equivalent. In September, Iara was pegged at beween 3 billion and 4 billion BOE.

The Tupi and Iara fields lie in separate sections of the BM-S-11 block.

ANP's Lima also said an interministerial panel studying possible changes to Brazil's oil laws will likely present its proposals to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in December. 

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