Brazil E&P

Petrobras bows out of deepwater prospect

RIO DE JANEIRO, May 28, 2015 – Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petroleo Brasileiro has relinquished rights to its exploration activities in the BM-S-21 concession located in the deepwater Caramba prospect, which contains the country’s biggest reserves.

The national oil company returned BM-S-21 to Brazilian oil producer National Petroleum Agency, which had an 80-percent stake in the concession. Portuguese corporation Galp Energia SGPS held a 20-percent stake.


The concession is located in a pre-salt region, which contain deposits trapped beneath a later of salt. Petrobras has had much of its success in pre-salt regions and output from pre-salt fields comprise nearly a third of Brazil’s total output at 800,000 barrels a day. However, the Petrobras decision is indicative of the riskiness inherent in exploring and producing oil in these areas.

“The pre-salt is not riskless,” Joao Carlos de Luca, chairman of Petrobras partner Barra Energia, said at a Rio conference on Wednesday. “We need to relax the pre-salt unique operator rule to make the industry more dynamic. It’s important to drill more in the pre-salt to analyse and know what we have there and not.”

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