ExxonMobil finds oil in Brazil's presalt layer

ExxonMobil Corp. has notified Brazil's hydrocarbons regulator Agencia Nacional do Petroleo (ANP) that it has discovered oil on offshore Block BM-S-22 in the presalt layer of the Santos basin.

Eric Watkins
Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 22 -- ExxonMobil Corp. has notified Brazil's hydrocarbons regulator Agencia Nacional do Petroleo (ANP) that it has discovered oil on offshore Block BM-S-22 in the presalt layer of the Santos basin.

Traces of oil were found in a well drilled on the block, according to ExxonMobil, operator, which holds a 40% stake, while Hess Corp. holds 40% and Petroleo Brasilerio SA (Petrobras), 20%.

In November, David Rosenthal, vice-president, investor relations, said in a conference call that the West Polaris deepwater rig arrived in Brazilian waters in late September 2008 and began drilling the Azulao well on Block BM-S-22. He said ExxonMobil chartered the rig for 3 years and expected to have its first results on BM-S-22 by yearend 2008 or early 2009.

"Plans to drill a second well on the block are under way and will follow immediately upon completion of the first well," Rosenthal said, confirming earlier reports that the firm would drill two wells at the site.

The ExxonMobil discovery follows one by Repsol YPF SA, which last week said it discovered hydrocarbons on Block BM-S-48 in the Santos basin, 185 km off Sao Paulo state (OGJ Online, Jan. 15, 2009).

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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