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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Brazil found 8 Billion Barrels Oil

The government-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, said the new "ultra-deep" Tupi field could hold as much as 8 billion barrels of recoverable light crude, sending Petrobras shares soaring and prompting predictions that Brazil could join the world's "top 10" oil producers.

Petrobras President Sergio Gabrielli said Thursday the oil from ultradeep areas, including the Tupi field, would give Brazil the world's eighth-largest oil and gas reserves.

Petrobras says the Tupi field, off Brazil's southeastern Atlantic coast, has between 5 billion and 8 billion barrels -- equivalent to 40 percent of all the oil ever discovered in Brazil.

Brazil's total oil reserves currently rank 17th in the world, with 14.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent, Gabrielli said.


Thursday's news of the discovery rocked a country that became a net oil exporter only last year but must still import light crude oil for the refined products it needs. Brazil produces -- and exports -- mostly heavy crude oil, which has to be mixed with the light oil in refineries.


Petrobras' American depository shares jumped $24.03 to $116.77 on the New York Stock Exchange to close at a 52-week high. In Brazil, Petrobras shares ended 14.1 percent higher Thursday at 80.17 reals ($45.94) in Sao Paulo.


The Tupi field lies under 2,140 meters (7,060 feet) of water, more than 3,000 meters (almost 10,000 feet) of sand and rocks, and then another 2,000-meter (6,600-foot) thick layer of salt. The company drilled test wells that lie under 2,166 meters (7,100 feet) of water, 286 kilometers (177 miles) south of Rio de Janeiro.

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