Petrobras: Shifts Drilling to Meet Deadlines

RIO DE JANEIRO (Dow Jones Newswires), May 27, 2008

Brazilian state-owned energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR), or Petrobras, is working against a deadline to submit development plans for recent discoveries to the government or risk losing access to the finds, a top executive said Monday.

"We are adapting our portfolio and rearranging drilling in an effort to meet the demand," Petrobras exploration and production director Guilherme Estrella told the local Estado news agency.

The deadlines for each exploration block in the promising pre-salt area of the Santos Basin vary, but they fall between the end of 2008 and the start of 2009, Estrella said.

The hurried schedule and frantic pace were behind the state-run company's failure to provide additional details about the recent Carioca find, Estrella said.

"It wasn't possible (to give more details) because we had to move the drill before we could do production tests," Estrella said. "The only place where tests were done to evaluate production was in Tupi."

Petrobras has announced a series of oil discoveries in the pre-salt area near the Tupi find, but has refrained from giving reserve estimates. In November, Petrobras said that Tupi could hold as much as 8 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

However, the company has been tight-lipped after announcing recent discoveries in the Carioca and Bem-Te-Vi blocks.

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