Petrobras Declares Franco, Carioca, Tupi South Fields Commercial

Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4), Latin America’s largest oil company by market value, said three of its offshore fields are commercial including Franco and the Carioca field it owns with BG Group Plc (BG/) and Repsol Sinopec Brasil SA.

Carioca, considered one of the big five discoveries in the so-called pre-salt region, holds 459 million barrels of oil equivalent, Rio de Janeiro-based Petrobras, as the Brazilian producer is known, said in a regulatory filing today. Petrobras said it has suggested to Brazil’s regulatory agency to change the field’s name to Lapa. It is located 270 kilometers (167 miles) from the coast of Sao Paulo state.

In a separate regulatory filing, Petrobras also declared as commercial two fields in the pre-salt region of Brazil’s Santos Basin. Franco and Tupi South both showed good quality oil, the company said. Franco has 3.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent while Tupi South contains 128 million barrels, Petrobras said.

The field declarations come six years after then-Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva first announced the discovery of at least 50 billion barrels of oil in the pre-salt region. The other fields among the Big Five pre-salt discoveries are Lula, Iracema, Iara and Sapinhoa.

Petrobras owns 45 percent of Carioca, BG owns 30 percent while the Brazilian joint venture between Spain’s Repsol SA (REP) and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp holds the rest.

Lapa is a Portuguese-language name for a type of fish. Brazilian offshore oilfields are given names of fish and other sea-life after they are declared commercial.

The pre-salt region receives its name from a layer of salt that traps crude below the Atlantic seabed.

The announcement was made after the close of regular trading in Brazil markets. Petrobras gained 2.4 percent to 17.25 reais today in Sao Paulo.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rodrigo Orihuela in Rio de Janeiro at rorihuela@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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