Petrobras Fails To Hit Oil, Gas In 1st Colombia Well

A group led by Brazilian oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR), or Petrobras, didn't find oil or gas in the first well it drilled in the Colombian offshore Tayrona block located off the Caribbean coast, newspaper Portafolio said Thursday.

Maximiano Da Silva Scuta, exploration and production director of Petrobras, told Portafolio that after drilling 4,000 meters in offshore Caribbean waters, the company only found water.

A Petrobras official, who declined to be identified, confirmed the report to Dow Jones Newswires, though he said this is only the first well in the 20,000 square kilometer area.

The companies involved in the block invested $135 million to drill the well, according to the newspaper.

Da Silva Scuta said the group would likely drill another well in the area in 2009.

Petrobras teamed with ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM) and state-owned Colombian oil company Ecopetrol SA (ECOPETROL.BO) to explore the area.

Petrobras, which runs the operations, owns a 40% stake in the venture, while Exxon holds 40% and Ecopetrol holds 20%.

In the past years, the Colombian government has encouraged private companies to invest in the country to seek oil and gas to boost reserves as the country is expected to become a net oil importer in 2014.

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