Brazil’s oil and gas treasure just keeps on giving. According to Brazil Energy,
“Petrobras’ hegemony in the discovery of giant, offshore Brazilian fields may be over. Repsol Sinopec Brasil’s exploratory campaign in the BM-C-33 block, from the 5th Bidding Round, located in ultra-deep waters of the Campos Basin, indicates a pre-salt discovery of a total volume of 1.2 billion boe – 700 million barrels of oil and 3 trillion cubic feet of gas – with a column of almost 500 m. Technically, this already defines the discovery as a significant oil field, the first operated by a foreign company in Brazil.
The results achieved by Repsol, which holds a 35% stake in the area, in consortium with Statoil (35%) and Petrobras (30%), have aroused great expectations in the market. Besides its magnitude, the discovery set a record for water depth (2,800 m), with a distance from the coast of 195 km. The three exploratory wells drilled in the area by the Stena Drillmax rig confirmed the existence of oil and evidenced encouraging signs, such as light oil of 43º API.”
This landmark discovery is another in a decade long list of impressive offshore finds in Brazil. Moreover, it stands in stark contrast to the mounting criticism of Brazil’s new state led oil and gas development model which alleges that private sector interests are getting squeezed out of the bonanza. This tremendous discovery by Repsol Sinopec, leading a consortium including Statoil and Petrobras, indicates that there are many blocks to go around for private interests and foreign firms. The BM-C-33 block with keep Repsol Sinopec busy for decades to come.
The Secretary General of the Brazilian Petroleum Institute (IBP), Álvaro Teixeira, declared,
“The discovery changes Repsol Sinopec’s position in Brazil and solidifies the opening of the oil sector oil in the country. New ideas and technologies are always welcome and having another large player interacting with national goods and services suppliers makes Brazilian industry more competitive.”
Clearly, Brazil needs continued foreign direct investment to make the most of its oil and gas treasures; and while Wall Street has gone sour on Petrobras of late, this recent discovery will raise a few eyebrows and compel investors to recalibrate their thinking on Brazilian hydrocarbon exploration and production. Indeed the President of Repsol Sinopec Brasil, José Maria Moreno, reports
“We are living the best moment of the company. We have production, good development projects, excellent perspectives for future growth with the BM-C-33 block, and we’re still awaiting new bidding rounds for concession areas. We are capitalized for this and more.”