Petrobras Uses Testing at Tupi to Yield Subsalt Improvements

RIO DE JANEIRO (Dow Jones Newswires), Apr. 30, 2009

Brazilian oil major Petrobras (PBR) will use testing at the Tupi field to improve development of promising subsalt oil deposits, the company's chief executive said Thursday.

"There are hundreds of researchers and groups attempting to resolve questions and problems in the petroleum industry, searching for solutions to the challenges put before us by the subsalt (region)," Jose Sergio Gabrielli was quoted as saying by the local Estado news agency.

Gabrielli made the comments at the inauguration of a lab devoted to subsalt development at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

On Friday, Petrobras is to pump the first oil from the Santos Basin's Tupi field. The long-term test will produce about 30,000 barrels a day when it reaches full capacity later this year.

Tupi is located in the Santos Basin's subsalt layer off the coast of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo states. Development of the reserves is expected to be pricey and complicated, with the reservoirs under 2,000 meters of water and a further 5,000 meters below sand, rocks and salt.

In November 2007, Petrobras estimated Tupi had recoverable reserves of between 5 billion and 8 billion barrels of oil equivalent, or BOE.  

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