In Brazil Oil Production Goes Up 5% While Exxon Finds Oil Offshore

Petrobras from Brazil Brazil's Petrobras, the government-controlled oil and gas multinational produced an average of 2.4 million barrels per day of crude and natural gas at its operations inside and outside Brazil in 2008, an increase of 4.3%, or roughly 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, compared to 2007.

In a statement sent to financial markets, Petrobras said 1.98 million bpd of the total was petroleum and condensates and that natural gas accounted for another 421,000 boe per day.

Petrobras average hydrocarbon output in December inside and outside Brazil was 2.44 million boe per day, exceeding November's production by 33,000 boe. Average domestic production of crude and gas was 2.18 million boe per day in 2008, up 5.4% with respect to 2007.

Of the total consolidated production, an average of 1.98 million bpd corresponded to crude, of which 123,000 bpd was taken from foreign fields, where Petrobras also extracted 17 million cubic meters (600 million cubic feet) of natural gas per day.

Of the nine foreign countries where Petrobras has production activities, the company reported its largest hydrocarbons output in Argentina, with an average total of 100,037 boe per day in 2008. Next came Bolivia with 54,500 boe per day, followed by Peru with 16,123 boe, Colombia with 15,500 boe and Ecuador with 11,357 boe.

Petrobras international oil production fell in 2008 by 2% compared with the 126,000 bpd pumped in 2007, while natural gas output was down 8.2% and total hydrocarbons production in barrels of oil equivalent declined by 4.9%.

The Brazilian corporation said the international variation was due to a drop in output at mature fields, the temporary suspension of production at Argentina's Austral Basin, the rescheduling of the drilling campaign in Venezuela, the hurricane season in the United States and maintenance work at the Guando Field in Colombia.

Exxon

Exxon Mobil Corp., Hess Corp. and Petrobras found evidence of oil at an offshore block in Brazil's Santos Basin in an area close to the largest oil discovery in three decades in the American continent.

The discovery in the so-called "pre-salt cluster" was in water 7,294 feet deep and in a well expected to have a final depth of 16,414 feet, announced Brazil's National Petroleum Agency. The companies haven't determined if the find can be developed commercially.

The so-called Azulão-1 well in the BM-S-22 block operated by Exxon Mobil is adjacent to the Carioca field, where Petrobras, the Brazilian state-controlled oil company, has found oil. It is also about 25 miles south of Tupi, a field that Petrobras says holds as much as 8 billion barrels of oil, making it the biggest discovery in the Americas since 1976.

"The drilling of this well will continue until the targeted depth is reached. We are keeping with plans to drill another well after that," Exxon Exploração Santos Brasileira, the Exxon unit, said in a statement.

The so-called subsalt wells extend over a distance of 800 kilometers along the southern Brazilian coast in ultra-deep waters.

Mercopress

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