Petrobras-IBV Brazil oil find ‘beautiful,’ CEO says

Reuters, RIO DE JANEIRO

Sun, Sep 29, 2013 - Page 13

Brazil’s state-led oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, and its Indian partners have made a “beautiful” oil discovery off Brazil’s northeast coast and it will produce a minimum 100,000 barrels of petroleum a day starting in 2018, the company’s chief executive officer said on Friday.

Petrobras CEO Maria das Gracas Foster declined to say how big the discovery is, but said it was an important new oil “province” for Brazil and that its large potential reserves would create a rush of jobs and activity to the area that will need to be managed carefully.

On Thursday, Reuters exclusively reported that the discovery, centered on the SEAL-11 offshore exploration block, likely holds more than 1 billion barrels of oil and that the region will soon become Brazil’s biggest new oil frontier.

The SEAL-11 block is 60 percent owned by Petrobras and 40 percent-owned by IBV Brasil, a 50-50 joint venture between India’s Bharat Petroleum Corp and Videocon Industries Ltd.

“In 2008, we decided to do a very extensive investigation of the area, and the results we have got have been very good,” Foster told reporters at company headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. “This is a beautiful discovery, beautiful discoveries.”

In addition to light, high-quality crude oil, the region has important quantities of gas, she added.

Two prospects in the area, known as Farfan and Muriu, are expected to be developed as a single or integrated unit, with at least one floating production, storage and offloading ship producing oil and gas from the area in 2018, Foster said.

Foster said that was the minimum outlook for the area based on spending in the company’s US$237 billion 2013 to 2017 investment plan drawn up before the latest drilling and tests in the area.