Petrobras to Invest US$1.5bn in Santos Business Unit

Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) has set aside 3.12bn reais (US$1.5bn) for investments in 2007 in its Santos business unit, which includes E&P assets in the Santos basin, according to the company's press office.

The company's total 2007 budget is pegged at 55bn reais.

The Santos basin includes the development of the Mexilhao natural gas field and a plan to increase production at the Merluza field as well as the initial development of the Caravela and Cavalo Marinho fields for the start of production in 2010, Petrobras said.

Investment in production in 2007 in the Santos business unit will be 2.2bn reais including construction of pipelines and natural gas-processing units, the company said. This year's investment in exploration is budgeted at 900mn reais, including 580mn reais in recently acquired exploration blocks in the Santos basin. The Santos business unit, known as UN-BS, was created in 2005 and is one of the company's new development areas. In 2005, Petrobras announced plans to invest US$18bn through 2015 in five development areas that will have 14 oil and gas production units. By 2011, the company plans to produce 30Mm3/d of natural gas and 100,000b/d of oil in the Santos basin, a starting point for future growth, Petrobras said.

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