Petrobras May Drill 3rd Well to Assess Tupi Deepwater Find

HOUSTON Sep 17, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR), or Petrobras, may drill a third exploration well at its ultra-deep Tupi field to help determine the size of the discovery, the company's chief financial officer said Monday.

"We may have to drill a third well in order to have information and come to a conclusion of the size," said Almir Barbassa, Petrobras's CFO. "I hope it won't take us much longer to know the size of the field." Barbassa spoke to Dow Jones on the sidelines of an energy conference in Houston.

Petrobras has drilled two wells in the Tupi field in the BM-S-11 block, in which the company has 65% stake. U.K. energy company BG Group PLC (BRG) holds another 25%, and Petroleos de Portugal, or Petrogal, holds the remaining 10%.

Petrobras confirmed an oil discovery at Tupi in August after a second exploration well located oil under a salt layer in the Santos Basin. But the company has avoided estimating the size of the discovery, which some market watchers have speculated could be massive.

BG's Chief Executive Frank Chapman in February said the Tupi oil discovery could contain between 1.7 billion and 10 billion barrels of oil-equivalent. Petrobras hasn't confirmed BG's estimate.

The Tupi field lies beneath 2,140 meters of water, 3,000 meters of sand and rocks, as well as a 2,000-meter-thick salt layer.

Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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