Petrobras Expected to Drill 15 Tupi Wells in 2010 - Estado

RIO DE JANEIRO (Dow Jones), Apr. 12, 2010

Brazilian state-run energy company Petroleo Brasileiro, or Petrobras, plans to drill at least 15 wells at the Tupi field by the end of 2010, the company's exploration and production director said Monday, the local Estado news agency reported. 

Petrobras has drilled five successful wells in the Santos Basin's Tupi field, Petrobras' Guilherme Estrella told Estado on the sidelines of an event in Rio de Janeiro. Petrobras must complete drilling and declare Tupi commercially viable by Dec. 31 under terms of the field's operating concession.

"It's a difficult reservoir, and we're learning about it," Estrella told Estado. "A greater quantity and quality of information will allow us to present the ANP [Brazil's National Petroleum Agency] a more consistent development plan."

The first step in Tupi's development will be implementation of a pilot production project later this year. Currently, an extended well test is under way at the field.

Tupi was the first of the so-called "presalt" oil fields announced in the Santos Basin off the coast of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo states. Tupi is estimated to hold recoverable reserves of between 5 billion and 8 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Development of Tupi and similar presalt 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.

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