Brazil's Odebrecht Oil Unit to Drill in Angola's Block 16

RIO DE JANEIRO (Dow Jones Newswires), November 5, 2008

The oil and gas unit of Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht plans to spend $100 million drilling test wells next year in a promising exploration block in Angola, the company's vice president told Dow Jones Newswires on Wednesday.

Odebrecht will drill four wells in Block 16 offshore Angola, said Miguel Gradin, vice president of Odebrecht Oil & Gas Ltd. Odebrecht holds a 15% stake in the offshore block, which is surrounded by blocks containing recent discoveries and producing wells.

"I hope we are going to have a lot of success," Gradin said.

Maersk Oil is operator of the block with a 50% stake, while Angola's state oil company, Sonangol, has a 20% share. Devon Energy owns the remaining 15% of the block.

Gradin also said that Odebrecht remains interested in purchasing additional exploration and production concessions in the West African nation. Angola's government plans to restart the sale of concession blocks in 2009.

"We'll have to wait and see what is available, and what opportunities exist," Gradin said.

Angola is a natural fit for Odebrecht Oil & Gas's expansion plans. The parent company employs about 30,000 people in the country, which shares the Portuguese language with Brazil, Gradin noted. 

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