Brazil’s oil reserves, including recent discoveries in deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean, are of a similar size to those found in the North Sea, said a Petrobras exploration official in an interview in London.
The UK and Norway held about 62 billion barrels of reserves in the North Sea before the deposits were developed, Francisco Nepomuceno Filho, Petrobras’s London head of exploration and production said.
“Brazil as a whole could have a potential of the same size of the North Sea, including Norway and the UK,” Nepomuceno Filho said. “Those two countries grew a lot and had huge development.”
Brazilian reserves that sit miles below the floor of the Atlantic Ocean trapped under layers of rock and salt hold an estimated 50 billion barrels of oil, according to the country’s oil regulator.
Lula, the largest discovery in the Americas in over three decades, had the country’s most productive well in May, yielding 36,322 barrels a day of oil and natural gas.
Petrobras is also preparing to test a recent discovery well in the offshore Sergipe Basin in north-eastern Brazil, an area that may be a “new oil province,” Nepomuceno Filho said. Petrobras will reach its target of 2.1 million barrels a day of average oil production in Brazil for this year, he said.
The North Sea reached peak production of 6 million barrels a day in 1999, Nepomuceno Filho said. Petrobras plans to triple production to 6 million barrels a day by 2020, including output from deep-water reserves where Petrobras bought production rights from the government last year.
Petrobras is revising its 224 billion dollars five-year investment plan and the company’s board may approve it on July 22.
The Petrobras expert said that rising output rates in the pre-salt area are reducing costs because the company can supply each production platform with fewer wells. Each pre-salt well costs about 100 million dollars to drill in Brazil. Improved productivity will help compensate for the larger exploration area Petrobras needs to tackle under its new plan, he said.