Petrobras reports biggest pre-salt oil column in Santos basin

Friday, August 3, 2018

Brazil's federal oil firm Petrobras reported that it found its biggest oil column so far in the Santos basin's pre-salt play.

During a press conference to announce 2018 half-year results on Friday, the company's director of exploration and production, Solange Guedes, said the firm recently found a 530m oil column on the Sururu field, operated by Petrobras in partnership with Shell, Total and Galp.

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So far, the average of the five wells with the largest oil columns in the pre-salt was 436m.

"Our best results so far showed columns below 500m. This result gives us confidence in our investments," Guedes said.

According to the NOC's production, development and technology director, Hugo Repsold, the result will contribute to the company's production growth. Repsold confirmed Petrobras is aiming to have four new FPSOs enter production during the second half in the Búzios and Lula fields, in the deepwater Santos basin, of which three will come online by the end of the third quarter.

"We have no further obstacles to start production on these units; 93% of the wells are already drilled, there are only two needing completion," Repsold said.


Petrobras will invest US$15bn this year, below its initial projection of US$17bn.

"It will be a little less than forecast, although we are accelerating our investment program," CEO Ivan Monteiro said.

Monteiro also told reporters Petrobras' divestment goals have not been altered, even though some sales processes were interrupted recently due to a ruling by a supreme court judge that all privatizations must be approved by legislators. According to the CEO, the sale of some of the assets that would contribute most to achieving the goal has been frozen.

"This decision makes our goal more challenging, but we have been realizing the higher oil prices have contributed to increasing our liquidity besides enhancing buyers' interest in our assets," Monteiro added.

Petrobras posted a net profit of 17bn reais (US$4.5bn) for the first half, up 257% compared with the same period last year, the firm's best result since 2011. Revenue amounted to 159bn reais, up 17% year-on-year, according to a statement.