Petróleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) has been granted an environmental license from the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) to drill two exploratory wells in Block BM-POT-17, in deep waters of Potiguar basin, on the Brazilian Equatorial Margin.
The project, to evaluate the Pitu discovery, is expected to begin with drilling of the first well 52 km off the coast in the coming weeks pending arrival of the drilling rig, Petrobras said in a release Oct. 2.
With the exploratory survey, the company intends to obtain more geological information to assess the economic feasibility and extent of the oil discovery made in 2013 (OGJ Online, Mar. 13, 2014).
In 2014, the operator said the discovery well reached a total depth of 5,353 m and encountered a 188-m column of intermediate 24º gravity API oil. In 2015, the company said it confirmed the presence of oil in the Pitu area after drilling the Pitu North 1 extension well offshore Rio Grande do Norte state (OGJ Online, Nov. 18, 2015).
There is no oil production currently.
Potiguar basin covers maritime portions of the states of Rio Grande do Norte and Ceará and is part of the Brazilian Equatorial Margin, which stretches between the states of Amapá and Rio Grande do Norte.
Petrobras intends to drill 16 exploratory wells in the Equatorial Margin over 5 years. Investment in research to investigate the region’s oil potential is expected to reach about $3 billion, the company said.