Petrobras, Brazil’s state-owned oil company, confirmed in a press statement, the existence of light oil in an area of Santos Basin, in the southeast of the country, located under a two-kilometer thick layer of salt.
The discovery had already been announced by the company in July, and was confirmed yesterday, October 4, after a test well was drilled, proving that the oil is good quality and that the volume is significant.
The discovery is of great significance as it is the first time an oil company discovers oil and gas below a layer of salt, which, in the evaluation of specialists, may open a "new exploratory frontier".
According to the statement, the test executed on a vertical well showed a flow of 4,900 barrels of oil and 150,000 cubic meters of natural gas per day. The block is operated by Petrobras (65%) in a consortium with BG (25%) and Petrogal (10%).
The company admitted the need for additional investment, initially for the drilling of the first extension well, for the complete evaluation of the volume of the oil reserves found.
The discovery is within the scope of the state-owned company’s priority of investing in exploration and production in areas with a potential for discovery of light oil and natural gas, included in the company’s Business Plan, which forecasts investment of over US$ 80 billion in the period between 2007 and 2011.