Petrobras Eyes Ultra-Deepwater Prospects Off Bahia

RIO DE JANEIRO (Dow Jones), Sept. 25, 2009

Brazilian state-run energy giant Petrobras (PBR) is currently researching possible ultra-deepwater oil prospects off the coast of northeast Brazil, company CEO Jose Sergio Gabrielli said Friday.

Quoted by the local Estado news agency, Gabrielli said in Brasilia that "there could be (subsalt oil there), we're there conducting research. We have to drill to see."

Bahia Gov. Jaques Wagner recently said that Petrobras was eyeing possible subsalt oil reserves off the coast of his state. Geologists had previously said that the so-called subsalt layer under which the recent oil patch was discovered could extend the length of Brazil's Atlantic coast.

The subsalt finds were made under a thick layer of salt in the Santos Basin off the coast of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states. The oil lies under more than 2,000 meters of water and a further 5,000 meters under sand, rock and a shifting layer of salt.

The area generally regarded as holding the most promise runs from Santa Catarina state in the south as far north as Espirito Santo state.  

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