Spanish oil officials Monday announced discovery of an offshore pocket of oil that could hold as many as 250 million barrels of oil off the coast of Brazil.
The region in recent months has proved to be rich in oil and natural gas and is fueling a rush of development off the coast of Rio de Janiero state. Petrobras, Brazil's state-run company, aims to invest close to $200 billion in the next several years in its offshore resources.
Early testing of a new well, the newest in the Campos Basin, officials of Spain's Repsol said, could yield as many as 5,000 barrels of oil a day and as much as 807,348 cubic meters of natural gas a day.
A U.S. Geological Survey assessment of Brazil's offshore resources in 2000 determined as many as 97,319 million of barrels of oil and 352,010 billion cubic feet of natural gas could yet be found offshore.
The new well, located 121 miles from the shore, is in a high-yielding block of the Campos Basin, where oil is trapped underneath a large layer of underground salt. The new well is one of three in the same block. One of the previous discoveries was named one of the top ten largest of 2011, Repsol said.
The three wells attest the significant potential of the Campos Basin, which could be confirmed as a large hydrocarbons nucleus similar to that existing in the Santos Basin, said Repsol in a statement.
Repsol Sinopec Brazil is the operator of the rig and is partnered with Norwegian Satoil and Brazil's Petrobras, the latter of which holds a minority share of the well.