Petrobras will receive 33 new drilling rigs by 2012

Feb 04, 2009 01:00 AM

Petroleo Brasileiro, Brazil's state-controlled oil company, will take delivery of 33 new oil rigs by 2012 as it seeks to boost output, an official said.
Petrobras, as the Rio de Janeiro-based company is known, will receive 11 rigs this year, head of Exploration Services Erardo Barbosa said in Rio de Janeiro. The company operates or leases 40 rigs now, he said.

The rigs are part of a $ 104.6 bn exploration and oil output plan through 2013. Under the program, Petrobras hopes to increase production by more than half to 3.66 mm bpd in 2013 from 2.4 mm bpd in 2008. Exploration and production will account for more than half the company's $ 174.4 bn spending plan in the period.
"We can't be conservative in our goals," Exploration Director Guilherme Estrella said at the same conference. "We must be ambitious."

Petrobras, whose 5 bn- to 8 bn-barrel Tupi field is the biggest oil discovery in the Americas since 1976, needs to drill dozens of wells to increase production from its offshore fields,responsible for more than 80 % of the its output.
Many of the new wells are in waters more than 2,000 meters (6,560 feet) deep and require ships that cost about $ 1 bn each. Of the ships on order now, most will be floating platforms for deep water, Barbosa said. The rest will be so-called "jack-up" rigs with legs that sit on the ocean floor and a platform that can be raised or lowered.

Much of the drilling will be concentrated in the "pre- salt" area near Tupi in Brazil's Santos Basin, where the company plans to spend $ 18.6 bn through 2016. The pre-salt region extends about 800 km (500 miles) along Brazil's coast near Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Oil in the area is below a layer of salt.
Pre-salt reservoirs may contain more than 100 bn barrels of oil, according to Marcio Mello, president of Brazil's petroleum geologists association.

Petrobras also said it plans to move ahead with plans for its Papa Terra field in the Campos Basin even after cancelling tenders for offshore production platforms.The company believes rig suppliers, shipbuilders and other equipment and service providers are charging too much.
"We can't go back to prices like those we had when Brent crude was $ 140 a barrel," Estrella said. "We want to accelerate the process of deflation."

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