Brazil's Sub-Salt on Schedule Despite Tupi Delay

RIO DE JANEIRO (Dow Jones Newswires), Jul. 15, 2009

Brazilian state-run energy giant Petrobras' development of the deepwater Tupi field will remain on schedule despite equipment problems announced last week, the local Estado news agency reported Tuesday.

The announcement was made Tuesday by Jose Formigli, Petrobras executive manager for subsalt operations, at a Brazilian Institute of Finance Executives, or Ibef, conference in Rio de Janeiro.

Petrobras said previously that it had detected an equipment problem with its well at the Tupi field in the Santos Basin's Sub-Salt area, which resulted in a three- to four-month interruption of an extended test.

The company detected a manufacturing issue with fixation bolts used in the Wet Christmas Tree at well 3-RJS-646. The Wet Christmas Tree is a submarine well flow control device.

Despite the delay, Petrobras expects the project to begin operation in the fourth quarter of 2010, with production of 100,000 barrels per day, reported Estado.

Oil production tests at Tupi started May 1. It is the Western Hemisphere's largest oil discovery since 1976. Tupi and sister field, Iara, are expected to hold recoverable oil reserves of eight billion to 12 billion barrels of oil equivalent.  

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