Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4), Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, discovered “good quality” oil near the country’s biggest field as it accelerates exploration in deep waters of the South Atlantic.
Petrobras, as the producer is known, found an oil column more than 290 meters (951 feet) thick at the Tupi Northeast area in the Santos Basin, the company said in a statement today. The find is northeast of the Lula field, the biggest discovery in the Western Hemisphere since Mexico’s Cantarell in 1976.
“They’re getting lucky, it compares favorably” to other discoveries in the so-called pre-salt region in Brazil’s deep waters, said Cleveland Jones, an oil specialist and geology professor at Rio de Janeiro State University. “The key is how much of those 290 meters is good reservoir and not rock that doesn’t hold oil.”
Petrobras, based in Rio de Janeiro, will continue drilling the well to gauge the reservoir’s size and will conduct a well test to determine potential output, the company said.
Petrobras is spending more than any oil company as it develops the pre-salt, an area off the coast of Rio and Sao Paulo state the size of Florida that holds at least 50 billion barrels of oil trapped under a layer of salt. It has a $224.7 billion, five-year investment plan.
Petrobras fell 0.5 percent to 23.98 reais in Sao Paulo at 11:25 a.m.
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