A multinational consortium led by Brazil’s troubled state oil producer Petrobras has found hydrocarbons in a new offshore well in the Libra subsalt area, according to Reuters.
Petrobras announced the find on Wednesday and said another two wells are also being explored in Libra, which is a large ultra-deepwater oil prospect beneath a layer of salt located in the Santos Basin, about 230 kilometres off of Rio de Janeiro.
Libra is believed to contain between 8 million and 12 million barrels of oil.
The announcement followed some positive noises about fiscal improvements from within Petrobras as CEO Aldemir Bendine said the firm – hugely indebted and blighted by a massive corruption scandal – has saved $3.8bn by better management of its debt. The company is also shrinking its budget by delaying exploration and production projects.
But countering the good news was a projection by the country’s oil regulator ANP, which cut its outlook for petroleum production to 4 million barrels a day in 2025 or 2026 from 4.5 million barrels a day in 2022. The ANP also forecast Brazil would be importing 400,000 barrels a day of vehicle fuel in 10 years, more than double the amount it has imported so far this year.
The consortium involved with Petrobras in the Libra prospect drilling also includes Shell, Total, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and Brazilian state firm PPSA.