Petrobras, Repsol YPF make oil discovery in Santos basin

Brazil's Petrobras and partner Repsol YFP made a declaration of commercial viability to the country's ANP for a light oil and gas discovery made on Block BM-S-7 in the Santos basin.

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Apr. 8 -- Brazil's state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) and partner Repsol YFP SA made a declaration of commercial viability to the country's Agencia Nacional do Petroleo (ANP) for a light oil and gas discovery made on Block BM-S-7 in the Santos basin.

Piracuca field lies in 200 m of water off Sao Paulo state, 200 km from Santos. The partners, Petrobras 63% and Repsol YPF 37%, estimate in-place reserves at 88.5 million cu m or "about 550 million boe."

The declaration of commercial viability is the outcome of "intense exploratory activity" carried out on this block, the partners said, adding, "With the new field, it will be possible to increase the potential for light oil and gas production in shallow waters."

The announcement coincided with reports that Petrobras notified ANP on Apr. 6 that it found traces of oil in a test well drilled on the C-M-401 Block offshore in the Campos basin. Petrobras holds a 100% stake in the block.

Petrobras reported that data from early March showed that the Peregrine 1 rig was drilling at the site in 977 m of water and targeting a depth of 3,333 m.

Meanwhile, ANP said ExxonMobil Brazilian subsidiary Esso Santos is drilling a second well on Brazil's Santos basin Block BM-S-22 to a depth of 5,404 m in 24 m of water.

ExxonMobil Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson said the second well is designed in part to give ExxonMobil a "better understanding" of BM-S-22, but he declined to confirm what the firm expects to discover.

While the block is close to major finds in Santos' presalt layer, Tillerson played down projections of discoveries at BM-S-22, saying, "We have one well" and "it's just too early" to predict what will be found on it.

ExxonMobil is operator of the block with a 40% stake. Hess Corp. also holds a 40% interest, while Petrobras owns the remaining 20%.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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