Petrobras Resumes Subsalt Drilling Near Guara, Carioca Finds

Dow Jones Newswires

RIO DE JANEIRO (Dow Jones Newswires), Jan. 29, 2009

Brazilian state-run energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro resumed drilling Wednesday in a key subsalt exploration block in the promising Santos Basin, according to the country's National Petroleum Agency.

The Ocean Clipper rig started drilling in the Santos Basin's BM-S-9 block, ANP data showed. Two previous pioneer wells in the BM-S-9 block yielded the promising Guara and Carioca discoveries.

The drill rig will target a total depth of 5,592 meters, operating at a water depth of 2,140 meters, ANP data showed.

Petrobras is lead operator of the block with a 45% stake. BG Group has a 30% interest in the block, while Spain's Repsol YPF holds a 25% share.

The BM-S-9 block is part of a group of four blocks that many industry experts and government officials believe contains a massive geological structure that could hold more than 30 billion barrels of oil -- and possibly much more. The structure crosses the BM-S-8, BM-S-9, BM-S-21 and BM-S-22.

In 2008, nearly all of the test wells drilled in the region showed signs of oil or natural gas, resulting in the announcement of such finds as Bem-te-vi, Caramba, Carioca and Guara.

The last block in the area to be tested, BM-S-22, also showed promising signs. Last week, ExxonMobil notified the ANP that a test well, dubbed Azulao, showed traces of oil. ExxonMobil started the drilling program in October.

Separately, drilling also started at the BM-BAR-3 offshore block in the Barreirinhas Basin. U.S. independent Devon Energy has contracted the Deepwater Discovery rig to start drilling. The rig will target a depth of 4,825 meters in water 2,335 meters deep.

Devon holds a 100% stake in the exploration block.

Copyright (c) 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.



Company: Exxon Mobil Corporation more info
 - ExxonMobil's Wood Says Size Doesn't Matter in M&A Deals (Nov 06)
 - ExxonMobil and Chevron Report Strongest 3Q Results in 4 Years (Nov 02)
 - New Antwerp Delayed Coker to Support IMO Compliance (Oct 31)
Company: Petrobras more info
 - Petrobras FPSO Achieves First Oil (Oct 24)
 - Murphy Oil and Petrobras to Form Gulf of Mexico JV (Oct 11)
 - Offshore Brazil Contract Extension Goes to Transocean (Sep 28)
Company: BG Group more info
 - Shell Mulls LNG-Hub Network as Use by Ships and Trucks Expands (Jul 11)
 - Tanzania Laws Would Allow Govt to Tear Up Mining, Energy Deals (Jun 29)
 - Despite Cuts, Big Oil to Expand Production into the 2020s (Sep 05)
Company: Transocean Ltd. more info
 - Offshore Brazil Contract Extension Goes to Transocean (Sep 28)
 - Transocean Wins Multi-well NCS Contract for New Semisub (Sep 21)
 - Driller Transocean Eyes Improved Lease Rates, Activity In 2019 (Sep 05)
Company: Repsol more info
 - Sources: Spain's Repsol Hires Tanker For Iran's Pars Oil As Sanctions Loom (Jun 19)
 - Total Signs Deal to Extend TFT Gas Field License in Algeria (Jun 11)
 - Repsol Asks Vietnam For Compensation After Drilling Project Halted (May 04)
Company: Diamond Offshore more info
 - Diamond Offshore Posts Smaller-Than-Expected Loss On Lower Costs (Jul 30)
 - Diamond Offshore Posts Smaller-Than-Expected Quarterly Loss (Apr 30)
 - New Contracts Drive Diamond Offshore's Profit Beat; Shares Rise (Oct 30)
Company: Devon Energy more info
 - Permian Auction Doubles 2008 Record with near Billion-Dollar Sale (Sep 07)
 - Shale Companies Sink On Investor Disappointment, Hedging Losses (Aug 01)
 - Devon Energy Plans to Lay Off 9 Percent of Staff to Boost Returns (Apr 10)
Company: ANP more info
 - Brazil Regulator Approves Bidders For Oil Auction In March (Feb 21)
 - Brazil Regulator Allows Petrobras To Source Libra Rig Hull From Abroad (Oct 04)
 - Brazil's Prized Santos Basin Receives Single Bid In Oil Auction (Sep 27)