Petrobras Year-End Oil, Gas Reserves in Brazil Drop 5%

SAO PAULO (Dow Jones Newswires), Jan. 16, 2009

Domestic oil and gas reserves of Brazil's state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR), or Petrobras, dropped 5% last year, the company said in a statement.

Petrobras' Brazilian oil and gas reserves declined to 10.274 billion barrels of oil equivalent, or BOE, at the end of 2008, from 10.818 billion BOE a year earlier, according to the strict criteria of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC.

The SEC demands, among other requirements, that oil companies have firm oil sale contracts for new fields to be considered as company reserves.

Petrobras' reserves last year didn't calculate recents discoveries on the promising pre-salt oil area, which according to a preliminary estimate of Brazil's National Petroleum Agency, could contain between 50 billion and 70 billion barrels of oil.

Of the domestic reserves, 8,716 billion barrels were from oil, Petrobras said in the late Thursday statement.

The company's domestic and overseas reserves fell to 11.191 billion BOE at the end of 2008, from 11.704 billion BOE at the end of 2007.  

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