Brazilian oil company Petrobras made a new discovery in the Campos Basin this time 76 kilometres offshore the state of Spirito Santo just to the north of Rio do Janeiro. The new well 1-EES-116 was drilled seven kilometres from the Jubarte area that has proved reserves of 600 million barrels of oil.
Brazil has proven reserves of 14 billion barrels (30 billion probable) and the Jubarte area recently discovered offshore Spirito Santo represents one billion barrels.
Initial tests indicate wells in the area could have a daily production of 20/25,000 barrels with heavy oil in the range of 17 to 19 API degrees.
According to the Brazilian press Petrobras is one of the few Western oil companies that has managed to increase reserves and extraction. Brazil has a daily production of 1,5 million barrels per day, 12% increase over 2001, with a projected augmentation to 1,9 million barrels by 2005.
Brazil is a leading country in offshore oil exploration and production. The latest well was drilled at a depth of 1,500 meters and reserves are estimated in 300 million barrels.
More US aid for Colombia US Secretary of State Colin Powell promised more military assistance to Colombia asserting that the war on guerrillas, paramilitary and drug trafficking was part of the Bush administration world campaign against terrorism.
Mr. Powell made the announcement during a one day visit to Bogotá where he met with president Alvaro Uribe who is aggressively cracking down on Colombia's armed groups and drug related organizations.
The additional 500 million US dollars a year, including intelligence support from American spy planes put Colombia roughly in the same level with Afghanistan and Pakistan as recipient of American military and anti-drug assistance.
"We are firmly committed to President Uribe and his new national security strategy, and we are going to work with Congress to provide additional funding for Colombia", said State Secretary Powell.
The request is for 537 million US dollars up from the 411 million of last year, including 100 million US dollars to protect the California based Occidental Petroleum pipeline that transports 100,000 barrels of oil per day from eastern Colombia.
Guerrilla groups have consistently attacked the pipeline and as of next year sixty US Special Forces will coordinate intelligence and defence operations according to US Ambassador in Bogotá Anne Patterson.
Mr. Powell also went on to say that terrorism and narcotics in Colombia can't be separated "because they are both linked as threats to democracy".
When the US assistance to Colombia was first programmed under the Clinton administration a clear differentiation was made between the armed guerrilla and para-military groups and the drug cartels. Since 2000 United States has spent 1,8 billion US dollars in military, police and antinarcotics aid.
President Uribe is currently in a strong diplomatic position, not only as a consequence of the ample Colombian public opinion support for his violent groups and narcotics trade eradication campaigns, but because Colombia presides over the United Nations Security Council.
No wonder Mr. Uribe refused to exempt Americans in Colombia from any human rights prosecutions by the International Criminal Court, a Court that the Bush administration refuses to join.