Petrobras finds large oil field
Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras said it found a gigantic oil field containing the equivalent of nearly 10 percent of the South American nation's current reserves
The BC-20 field in the southern section of the Campos basin, in Rio de Janeiro state, contains potential reserves of between 700 million and 1 billion barrels of crude, Petrobras said.
Preliminary studies show that the field contains heavy crude, which is more expensive to extract and refine.
Heavy crude trades at a lower price than the more desireable low-sulphur light sweet crude because it requires more refining to meet environmental regulations in many countries.
Exploration and production rights were acquired in 1998 for the field, in which Petrobras has a 62.5 percent stake and partner Chevron owns 37.5 percent.
Petrobas expects to start production from the field in late 2011.
The oil giant has proven oil and natural gas reserves equivalent to more than 11 billion barrels.
Of the company's reserves, 10.57 billion barrels are in Brazil and 1.25 billion in the other eight countries in which Petrobras operates.
Petrobras, the largest state-owned company in Brazil, lists its shares and bonds on the stock exchanges in New York, Madrid and Sao Paulo.
The company's reserves are good for about 21.3 years at current production levels.
Petrobras's current daily crude production is between 1.5 million and 1.6 million barrels, and the energy company is pursuing an ambitious exploration and production plan to make Brazil self-sufficient in petroleum produced for the domestic market.