Repsol YPF to invest €500 million in Brazil projects

Repsol YPF SA, repeating announcements it made last fall, has told an investors' conference it will spend €500 million in 2008-12 to develop the Carioca discovery in Brazil's presalt region.

Eric Watkins
Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 21 -- Repsol YPF SA, repeating announcements it made last fall, has told an investors' conference it will spend €500 million in 2008-12 to develop the Carioca discovery in Brazil's presalt region.

Repsol YPF has a 25% stake in the Santos basin BM-S-9 Block that contains the Carioca find, while Brazil's mixed capital Petroleo Brasilerio SA (Petrobras) holds 45%, and BG Group holds the remaining 30%.

The investment announcement follows Repsol YPF's report last week to Brazil's hydrocarbons regulator Agencia Nacional do Petroleo (ANP) that it discovered hydrocarbons on BM-S-48 Block, 185 km off Sao Paulo state (OGJ Online, Jan. 15, 2009).

The consortium hasn't yet made an official reserves estimate for Carioca, but the head of ANP in April said the find could contain 33 billion boe, possibly making it one of the biggest oil finds ever.

Repsol YPF in its 2008-12 capital expenditure plan has earmarked €12.3 billion in investments in key growth projects in its upstream, downstream, and LNG areas.

Last September, Brazil's Expansion newspaper reported that Repsol YPF would invest €500 million in Brazil as part of a strategic plan intended to almost treble the firm's annual profits during 2008-12.

The report said the group had begun drilling at a number of sites in Santos oil field off Brazil, described as "one of the regions with the greatest potential oil reserves in the world."

In early October, Repsol YPF began drilling wells in the Santos basin, using the Sovereign Explorer semisubmersible rig, which was to be deployed on the BM-S-48 Block, in 5,000 m of water, 120 km off Ilha Bela, Sao Paulo.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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