ANP: Libra find could double Brazil's oil reserves

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 5 -- Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency (ANP) said the country’s offshore Libra subsalt oil discovery could hold as much as 15 billion bbl of oil—a figure 2.4 billion bbl greater than the country’s existing reserves.

“The volume of recoverable oil belonging to the nation could vary from 3.7-15 billion bbl, with the most likely estimate being 7.9 billion bbl," ANP said, citing a study carried out by certification firm Gaffney, Cline & Associates.

"It's important to stress that the Libra prospect alone could hold recoverable oil volumes that exceed Brazil's current proven reserves,” ANP’s statement said. According to OGJ figures, Brazil had 12.6 billion bbl of proved oil reserves in 2009, second-largest in South America after Venezuela.

ANP further said the well currently being drilled in Libra has reached a depth of 5,410 m, of which 22 m is in the presalt layer. According to ANP, the well is eventually expected to reach a total depth of 6,500 m before it is completed.

Some skeptical
Analysts expressed a certain degree of skepticism about ANP’s estimate, especially as it was based on the results of a single well—and one that has not yet reached total depth.

Ruaraidh Montgomery, senior analyst for Latin America upstream research at Wood Mackenzie, noted, "It's a very large volume that they've announced based on just a single well, in this case a well that is still being drilled.”

Analysts BMI and IHS Global Insight shared Montgomery’s view regarding the narrow base of data supporting ANP’s estimate. Still, both groups were fully prepared to underline the potential represented by the single well.

“That the estimate was provided based on a single unfinished well at the prospect is reason for caution,” said BMI, adding, “The report does seem to provide plenty of support for those who say Brazil's subsalt oil province could hold tens of billions of barrels of oil.”

IHS Global Insight concurred, saying that the latest reserve estimates for the Libra prospect should be treated with “some caution” as the highly prospective nature of the find is evident from the wide difference between the upper and lower estimates released by the ANP.

“Nonetheless suggestions that the new find could be as large as Tupi or perhaps even larger should ensure that it continues to be watched with interest,” the analyst said.

Timing questioned
A certain degree of skepticism over the find also emerged as a result of the timing of the ANP’s announcement, coming just as Brazilians were voting in a presidential runoff election after weeks of campaign rhetoric over the future of the country's oil reserves.

On Nov. 1, Dilma Rousseff, a protege of outgoing Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, won the election with 56% of the vote. At the top of the new president’s agenda are proposed changes to an oil law that will give the government more control over production in the subsalt layer.

A year ago, Rousseff described the new oil law as a new development model that would enable her country to ward off a future “oil curse.”

“Blessed with the world's largest oil discovery in 30 years, Brazil has recently proposed a new development model designed to turn this unexpected windfall towards the public good rather than the curse it has become for other nations,” Rousseff said (OGJ, Nov. 9, 2009).

But she and other Brazilians may have to wait a bit longer for the bill to become law as the leader of the governing coalition's forces in the Chamber of Deputies, Candido Vaccarezza warned earlier this week that approval of the bill may not come until next year.

The bill, which contains proposals to create a social fund to hold future revenues from the pre-salt layer as well as a new production-sharing agreement model for areas not already under concession, has gone back to the Chamber of Deputies after the Senate combined two of the government's presalt proposals.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

Related Articles

Eni reports flow test rates for well offshore Congo (Brazzaville)

12/15/2014 A production test conducted by Eni SPA on the Minsala Marine 1 NFW well offshore Congo (Brazzaville) flowed 5,000 b/d of 41° gravity oil and 14 MMs...

EOG sees crude potential in Leonard, Second Bone Spring

12/12/2014 EOG Resources considers various formations within the Delaware basin of West Texas and New Mexico to be one of its three top US plays with the othe...

OSHA seeks to limit silica exposure for oil workers, Proposed rules target frac sand mining, fracturing

12/12/2014 The rapid growth in oil and gas production from shale and tight oil formations in the US is generating a boom in a related industry: frac sand. San...

Bakken producers face possible new vapor pressure standards

12/12/2014 Oil producers in the Bakken, Three Forks, and Sanish plays could face new transportation safety regulations from the North Dakota Industrial Commis...

Santos makes gas discovery in Cooper basin

12/12/2014

Santos Ltd. has made a wet natural gas discovery in its South Australian Cooper basin permit PEL 513.

Senex moves to commercialize Cooper basin gas field

12/11/2014 Senex Energy Ltd., Brisbane, has successfully tested a sidetrack of the 2007 Vanessa-1 gas discovery in South Australia’s Cooper basin as part of i...

Stone drills successful Utica exploration well

12/10/2014 Stone Energy Corp., Lafayette, La., reported that its Pribble 6HU well in Wetzel County, W.Va., flowed from a 3,605-ft lateral at 30 MMcfd during t...

Origin makes Otway gas discovery

12/09/2014

Origin Energy Ltd., Sydney, has made a gas discovery in the offshore Otway basin of western Victoria.

Centrica makes gas discovery northeast of Aasta Hansteen field

12/08/2014

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate reported what it is calling a minor gas discovery made by Centrica Resources Norge AS.

White Papers

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected