Repsol, Statoil, Petrobras Strike 250 Million Barrel Well

Repsol YPF SA (REP), Spain’s largest energy company, and partners including crude producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4) said they made a discovery off Brazil that contains at least 250 million barrels of oil.

“The well known as Pao de Acucar drilled into a hydrocarbons column of 500 metres, one of the thickest discovered in Brazil to date,” Repsol, which owns 35 percent of the project and operates it through a joint venture with China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (600028), said today in an e-mailed statement. Statoil ASA (STL) also owns 35 percent and Petrobras the remainder.

The Pao de Acucar well is located in the Campos Basin about 195 kilometers (121.2 miles) off the coast of Rio de Janeiro in 2,800 meters (9186.8 feet) of water. The find is the latest in the so-called pre-salt, an area holding billions of barrels of oil trapped under a layer of salt in ultra-deep waters.

The well is “high-impact,” meaning it holds 250 million barrels of oil equivalent or more, Statoil said.

Two of Brazil’s 10 most productive wells in December pumped oil from discoveries in the Campos pre-salt area, according to the country’s oil regulator. Oil companies produced 200,600 barrels a day of oil and natural gas from pre-salt fields in Campos and the neighboring Santos basin in December, or 7.5 percent of Brazil’s total output, according to the regulator.

“The Pao de Acucar well encountered two pre-salt accumulations,” Statoil said. “A test performed in a partial section of the pay zone flowed 5,000 barrels per day,” according to the statement.

Repsol Rises

Repsol rose 0.5 percent to close at 20.73 euros in Madrid. Statoil rose 1.9 percent, to close at 160.1 kroner in Oslo.

Petrobras is digging deeper in Brazil’s offshore Campos Basin to find deposits beneath existing fields and trapped under a layer of salt. Petrobras is using existing platforms to produce oil from the pre-salt in Campos, where it has extracted crude since the late 1970s.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) and OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes SA (OGXP3) are among companies that have also discovered pre-salt oil. Anadarko discovered the Wahoo and Itaipu fields in Campos with a combined potential of at least 500 million barrels of oil equivalent, while OGX found oil in a pre-salt well in Santos earlier this year.

To contact the reporters on this story: Rodrigo Orihuela in Rio de Janeiro at; Jonas Bergman in Oslo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at

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