London-based BP is using the Deep Ocean Clarion drillship to explore the Itaipu prospect, the country’s oil regulator reported today on its website. The well is in 1,426 meters (4,678 feet) of water in the offshore Campos Basin that supplies more than 80 percent of Brazil’s oil production.
BP plans to expand Brazil output to more than 100,000 barrels a day after paying $3.2 billion to buy nine exploration licenses from Devon in May. Itaipu sits more than 2 miles below the sea floor, trapped under a layer of salt in an area where Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4), Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) and Repsol YPF SA (REP) have made discoveries.
Itaipu is six miles from Petrobras’s Jubarte field and 16 miles from Anadarko’s Wahoo discovery, both in the so-called pre-salt area of Campos that holds three of Brazil’s 10 most productive wells. It is BP’s first deepwater well outside of Angola since last year when its Macondo well caused the worst U.S. offshore spill.
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