Brazil Announces Discovery of Huge Oil Fields Off Rio’s Coast

Brazilian oil giant Petrobras announced Tuesday, December 27, the discovery of a giant oil field in Campos Basin, in the southeastern Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro.

Field BC-20, also called Papa-Terra, has potential reserves of between 700 million and one billion barrels of oil, almost 10% of total Brazilian reserves.

The area, operated by Petrobras and Chevron, should enter production by the end of 2011. The oil is considered very heavy. These oils are more expensive to extract and refine than lighter oils.

Self-Sufficiency

When it starts up operations in January, 2006, the P-50 platform vessel will be Petrobras’ largest production unit, churning out 180 thousand barrels of oil daily.

Besides producing petroleum, the P-50, which is a floating production, storage, and offloading unit (FPSO), built at the cost of US$ 634 million (around 1.3 billion reais), will also be capable of compressing 6 million cubic meters of natural gas and of storing up to 1.6 million barrels of oil.

However, in order for its plan of sustained self-sufficiency in petroleum production to become a reality, Petrobras is also counting on three other production units to come on line next year: the P-54, with a 60 thousand barrel daily output, in the Jubarte Field, in the Campos Basin; the SSP-300, with a 20 thousand barrel daily output, in the Piranema Field, in Sergipe; and the Golfinho Phase One unit, with a 100 thousand barrel daily output, in the Golfinho Field, in the Espí­rito Santo Basin.

Petrobras’ has its sights set even higher, going well beyond the goal of self-sufficiency: The company hopes to attain a daily production average of 2.3 million barrels by 2010. To achieve this target, the company has 36 major projects in the pipeline for execution between now and the end of the decade.

These projects involve investments surpassing US$ 50 billion and will permit the start-up of platforms P-51, P-52, P-53, P-54, and P-55, each with an average daily production of 180 thousand barrels of petroleum.

ABr, Anba

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