Brazilian state-controlled energy giant Petrobras said Friday that the drilling of a new exploratory well at the offshore Tupi field confirms potential recoverable reserves of between 5-8 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
The ultra-deep Tupi field is part of the BM-S-11 concession area, which is held by a consortium led and operated by Petrobras, with a 65 percent stake; the other partners in the block are Britain’s BG Group, with a 25 percent interest; and Portugal’s Galp Energia, 10 percent.
The BM-S-11 block also includes the Iara field, another large find in the pre-salt cluster, so-named because the estimated 80 billion barrels of oil equivalent that area may contain are located deep below the ocean floor under a layer of salt up to 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) thick.
Located in a 160,000-sq.-kilometer (62,000 sq.-mile) area, the pre-salt finds could lead to a nearly six-fold increase in Brazil’s current proven reserves of 14 billion barrels and transform the South American nation into a major oil exporter.
Tupi’s ninth exploratory well “proved that the oil accumulation not only extends to the south extreme of Tupi’s Evaluation Plan Area, but also proved that the thickness of the oil reservoir reaches around 128 meters (420 feet), thus reducing the uncertainty of the hydrocarbons volume estimate for Tupi’s area,” Petrobras said.
According to Petrobras’ statement, the new well also confirmed that the deposit’s recoverable oil has an American Petroleum Institute gravity of 28 degrees, which the company described as light oil with “excellent commercial value.”
The company announced that the field could be declared commercially viable on Dec. 31, after completion of two more wells designed to determine the reservoir’s size.
The ninth well was drilled in waters 2,152 meters (7,055 feet) deep approximately 290 kilometers (180 miles) off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state.
It is also located 11 kilometers (seven miles) southwest of the Tupi Sul well, where Petrobras is conducting its first extended-well test to extract oil from the Tupi field and obtain new technical data on the pre-salt reservoirs.
“Once the expected productivity has been confirmed, the consortium will consider installing in the south area of Tupi one of the first marine drilling platforms slated for operation in the pre-salt” region, Petrobras’ statement read.
Petrobras, which operates in 28 countries on five continents, is the world’s second-largest oil company by market capitalization after carrying out a massive share offering in recent weeks.
Brazil’s largest company and one of the world’s fastest-growing oil firms in recent years, Petrobras produces an average of roughly 2.5 million barrels per day of oil and natural gas equivalent at its domestic and foreign fields. (EFE)