Brazil’s government controlled oil and gas corporation Petrobras and Britain’s BP announced the discovery of oil in a deep-water offshore well in a new area for exploration off Brazil's northeast coast, according to a securities filing on Thursday.
The oil was discovered in the BM-CE-2 concession in the offshore Ceara basin. The concession is 60% owned by Petrobras and 40% by BP, the filing said.
The find is one of the first off Brazil's northeast coast. Petrobras and other companies are testing theories that the same geological systems that created and trapped oil off the West coast of Africa are present in Brazil's Northeast.
Brazil's Northeast was once connected to West Africa before the powerful forces of continental drift pulled them apart over millions of years. The discovery of enormous oil fields in southeast Brazil near Rio de Janeiro was in part influenced by the discovery of offshore oil in Angola.
Petrobras, which is the operator of the concession in Ceara, said it found a 290 meter long hydrocarbon column in the well with 140 meters of reservoirs, or net pay. The well has been named Pecem.
The oil was found in the Paracuru formation 76 kilometres off the coast near Fortaleza, Brazil, Petrobras said.
So far, the well has been drilled in 2,129 meters of water and to a depth of 4,410 meters beneath the seabed. Petrobras plans to extend the well to 5,500 meters.
In related news it was announced that Brazil's oil and natural gas output fell 2.9% in June to an average of 2.486 million barrels a day as rising gas production failed to compensate for a decline in crude oil volumes, the ANP, Brazil's petroleum regulator said in Thursday.
Petrobras was the leading producer with an average 2.27 million barrels of oil and gas equivalent per day (boepd), or 91% of Brazil's output, in June.
Crude oil and gas condensates output fell 4.9% to 2.03 million barrels per day (bpd). Natural gas output rose 7% to a record 71.4 million cu. meters a day, or 453,000 barrels of oil equivalent.
Shell was behind Petrobras having produced 38,840 boepd and Norway's Statoil was three with 35,111 boepd.