Brazil's Petrobras Reports Two Potiguar Basin Oil Finds to ANP

RIO DE JANEIRO (Dow Jones Newswires), Feb. 3, 2009

Brazilian state-run energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro notified regulators late Tuesday that it found traces of oil in test wells drilled at two exploration blocks in the Potiguar Basin.

The finds were made in the onshore BT-POT-8 and POT-T-520 blocks, Brazil's National Petroleum Agency said on its Web site. Petrobras holds a 100% stake in each block.

Petrobras and other oil companies have enjoyed a string of successful test wells in the Potiguar Basin in recent months. The mature basin lies on the border of Rio Grande do Norte and Ceara states.

Last week, independent explorer Partex Brasil Ltda. found traces of oil in the POT-T-559 block. Partex is lead operator in the block with a 50% stake, while Petrobras holds the remaining 50%.

The Potiguar Basin also attracted interest from exploration companies in December, when the ANP held its 10th round auction of exploration and production concessions. The ANP received bids on 14 of the 35 Potiguar Basin E&P blocks up for bid at the auction.

Petrobras partnered with Portugal's Galp Energia SGPS to buy stakes in five blocks in the Potiguar Basin, while Partex and Petrobras also teamed to buy two blocks.

Oil companies operating in Brazil must inform the ANP of indications of oil, gas or hydrocarbons in any exploratory well within 72 hours. The disclosures are routine, and do not indicate commercial viability.  

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