Brazil's state-owned oil and gas exploration company announced it has completed drilling at its Iara well. Initial testing confirmed there are between 3 billion and 4 billion barrels of recoverable light oil and natural gas in the Santos basin pre-salt reservoir.
In a statement, Petrobras explained the quantity and the quality of the oil was better than originally expected.
The testing was done from two exploratory areas, the Iara well and the Tupi well.
The Iara well is owned by Petrobras, the operator, with 65 percent, as well as British Gas Group, which owns 25 percent, and Galp Energia from Portugal, which owns 10 percent.
Brazil, which has proven oil reserves of 14 billion barrels, has made discoveries in two areas of the pre-salt reservoirs that could represent an 85 percent increase.
An increase of between 50 billion and 80 billion barrels would put the country into the Top 10 reserve holders in the world.
At the same time, Bolivia had to cut its natural gas exports to Brazil by 10 percent after the pipeline was damaged in an explosion.
It is estimated it will take about three weeks and nearly $100 million to repair the pipeline.
Oil exploration has begun in Guyana.
Toronto-based CGX Energy Inc. announced it is partnering with YPF Ltd., a subsidiary of Spanish Repsol YPF, to explore for crude oil off the shores of Guyana.
Using three-dimensional seismic programming technology, YPF Ltd., the operator, will explore 1,650 kilometers of Guyanan waters, the Guyana Chronicle reported.
CGX said the new seismic technology will help find more oil reservoirs and provide better drilling targets.
In an announcement, CGX President and Chief Executive Officer Kerry Sully said the $15 million project will begin at the end of September.
In June 2000 CGX started drilling but was forced to end its exploration when the military asked the company to remove its rigs.
Peru issues oil contracts
Peru awarded 17 new oil contracts worth more than $850 million Wednesday. Peru's goal, announced in 2006, is to invest $13.3 billion into its oil and gas exploration by 2015, according to reports on Petroleumworld.com.
Some of the companies that won contracts include: India's Reliance Industries Ltd., China National Petroleum Corp., India's Jindal Steel and Power Ltd., Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, Britain's Emerald Energy Plc, Dublin-based Pan Andean Resources Plc, U.S.-owned Petro-Tech Peruana, South Korea's Kedcom Co. and a unit of India's Ispat Industries Ltd.
Peru's state oil company Petroperu won five blocks. Petroperu said there are now 104 oil and gas contracts in operation in Peru, more than ever before.
Closing oil prices, Sept. 12, 3 p.m. London
Brent crude oil: $98.24
West Texas Intermediate crude oil: $101.89