Giant gas reserve found in Amazon forest

Jan 29, 1997 01:00 AM

A giant natural gas reserve with an estimated potential capacity of 5 billion cubic meters has been found in the Brazilian state of Amazonas in the heart of the Amazon jungle, state oil monopoly Petrobras said recently. The new reserve is located in the Solimoes River basin and corresponds to 6% of the Amazon's total gas reserves estimated at 82 billion cubic meters, Petrobras said. According to the Petrobras production department, the Solimoes gas reserves will be ready for commercial exploitation within three years after a 45-kilometre-long pipeline to a nearby oil reserve is built. The gas reserve lies some 3,000 meters below the ground and the company calculates it will post a daily output of 220,000 cubic meters of natural gas and 325 barrels of condensed oil per day. The Solimoes gas reserve lies 42 km from the Urucu oil fields which hold the country's largest natural gas sources and is part of a strategic government plan to boost energy resources in the Amazon jungle region. Urucu wells supply 26,000 bpd and Petrobras estimates the output will soar to 55,000 bpd late this year. Petrobras crews must cross thick jungle vegetation to access oil and gas reserves in the Amazon jungle because the company has banned helicopters from the area in order to avoid forest devastation.

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