Ibama Clears Start of Output at Manati Gas Field

Brazil's federal environmental protection agency Ibama has authorized a consortium led by local oil company Queiroz Galvao to start production in the offshore Manati natural gas field, newspaper Gazeta Mercantil reported.

Manati is located in shallow waters off the northeastern state of Bahia. Queiroz Galvao, federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) and Brazilian oil company Petroserv own 55%, 35% and 10% stakes respectively in the exploration license, which they bought in 1998. Queiroz Galvao is the operator.

The PA-29 platform is already in place waiting for the licensing from Ibama.

By the end of the year the consortium will have drilled seven production wells to produce 12 million cubic meters of natural gas a day.

Manati is a shallow water field located close to the coastline of Bahia and is considered important because it is expected to double the current supply of gas in the state.

Industries and local natural gas distribution company Bahiagas have been holding back on expansion programs because of the lack of gas supply.

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