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  Geotimes - January 2008 - Major oilfield found off Brazil

Major oilfield found off Brazil

Brazil’s national oil company, Petrobras, reported finding a new reservoir offshore that could hold as much as 8 billion barrels of recoverable light crude oil and natural gas. The discovery could raise Brazil’s petroleum reserves by 50 percent, the company reported, and would move the country from 17th in the world in terms of reserves to eighth.

Even without the find, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicted that Brazil would become a net energy exporter by the end of 2007. But because the country owns and produces primarily heavy crude oil, it still imports light crude for refining. The new discovery could change that, Brazilian officials told The Associated Press Nov. 8. If the find is confirmed, “we will no longer be a ‘medium’ country, pursuing self-sufficiency and exporting a little. It will transform the nation to another level, with exporting properties like Venezuela, Arab nations and others,” said Dilma Rousseff, presidential chief of staff, according to AP.

The newly discovered Tupi field, less than 300 kilometers southeast of Rio de Janeiro near Brazil’s other major oilfields, lies 5,000 to 7,000 meters below the sea surface, beneath a massive salt block, Petrobras said. Petrobras is the only oil company that has thus far reached this deep below salt blocks.

Megan Sever

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