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Brazil needs 270 billion USD in ten years to make true its oil dreams

Friday, March 20th 2009 - 05:27 UTC
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Brazil needs 270 billion US dollars in investment over the next 10 years to develop massive new deepwater oil reserves, energy minister Edison Lobao said on Thursday.

The largest oil discovery globally in at least 20 years could put Brazil among the world's largest oil producers, but needs huge investment.

“We need 270 billion and that will be just for 10 years” said Minister Lobao at an OPEC seminar (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries).

The money would come from state oil company Petrobras own resources, from partnerships with big international oil companies and from development banks added Lobao.

But falling oil demand, lower prices and tight credit have cast doubt over Brazil's oilfield development plans.

Deepwater oilfields are among the most expensive projects and were among the first to feel cutbacks as the oil industry adapted to a lower price environment. US light crude has fallen around 100 US dollars a barrel from a peak last July.

The billions of barrels of reserves are an estimated 5 to 7 kilometres below sea level. Brazil announced the discovery of the Tupi field in late 2007 and has since found other deepwater discoveries. Tupi holds an estimated 5 billion to 8 billion barrels.

Brazil and Petrobras are among the world’s leaders in deep oil exploration. After three long decades of exploration and investments the country is currently self sufficient in hydrocarbons and has plans to become a global oil exporter.

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