Petrobras, Brazil’s government owned oil company is exploring in waters 1,000 meters deep south of Buenos Aires province (South Atlantic) in partnership with Energia Argentina SA and other oil companies, revealed Decio Oddone, Petrobras executive manager for the Southern Cone.
"We’re seeking new areas of exploration in Argentina with the intention of increasing our production of oil and gas in this country," Oddone said. "The offshore exploration is pioneer so we have to give some time to wait for results."
Petrobras plans to invest US$ 12.1 billion outside of Brazil from 2007 to 2011, seeking to boost its world oil production to about 4.5 million barrels a day by 2015 plus securing natural gas supplies to meet an expected surge in demand.
Petrobras in Argentina produces 100,000 barrels of crude per day in onshore fields. The investment in Argentina, US$ 2.4 billion over the next five years is the second largest in a foreign country behind the United States, where Petrobras plans to spend US$ 2.7 billion over the next five years revealed Oddone.
"Argentina is the country outside of Brazil where Petrobras has its largest assets so it’s natural that it be the object of large investments," Oddone said.
Brazil’s demand for natural gas is expected to almost triple to 121 million cubic meters in 2011 from 45 million cubic meters a day in 2005. About half the country’s needs are met by Bolivian imports.
To reduce dependence on outside sources, Petrobras plans to increase domestic natural gas production to 71 million cubic meters a day over the next five years, Oddone said.
The company expects to boost production by 17 million cubic meters a day in Espírito Santo Basin, just north of its main producing region off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. It also forecasts output of 6 million cubic meters a day in the Campos Basin and about 5 million in the Santos Basin.
According to Oddone the remaining demand will be met with Bolivian imports and through two liquefied natural gas terminals Petrobras plans to build by 2009. Petrobras is counting on Bolivia to fulfil its contract to send 30 million meters per day of natural gas though a pipeline that connects the two countries.