Petrobras, Vale Report Offshore Gas Find to ANP

RIO DE JANEIRO (Dow Jones Newswires), Aug. 5, 2010

Petrobras and mining giant Vale notified the country's National Petroleum Agency, or ANP, that a well in the Espirito Santos Basin tested positive for natural gas.

The find was listed on the oil regulator's Web site early Thursday. The discovery was made at the 1BRSA826AESS well at the offshore ES-M- 468 Block in the Espirito Santos Basin. Petrobras is operator of the block with a 75% stake, while Vale holds the remaining 25%.

Vale, the world's largest producer and exporter of iron ore and blast-furnace pellets, has ramped up its efforts in oil and natural gas exploration as it seeks to reduce energy costs at its mining and logistics operations. Vale is Brazil's largest consumer of natural gas.

Last year, Vale and Petrobras signed farm-in agreements that gave Vale a stake in several exploration blocks operated by Petrobras. Vale now holds stakes in about 26 exploration blocks, with 22 of those blocks operated by the federal oil company.

The filling was part of a routine process that the ANP requires of oil companies operating in Brazil. Oil companies must inform the ANP of indications of oil, gas or hydrocarbons in any exploratory well within 48 hours. The disclosures are routine, and do not indicate commercial viability

The well was drilled by the GSF Celtic Sea rig in 1,470 meters of water, targeting a total depth of 6,525 meters, ANP drilling data showed.

Copyright (c) 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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