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New find for Petrobras in Santos Basin

Aug. 23, 2012 at 7:05 AM

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Brazilian energy company Petrobras announced the discovery of medium-grade crude oil in the offshore Santos Basin.

State-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro, known also as Petrobras, announced it discovered good quality oil in its fourth well drilled in the Santos Basin. The Franco SW well was drilled in water depths of 6,600 feet in a site 130 miles off Rio de Janeiro.

The company said the well was still in the drilling stage. The so-called pre-salt reserves in the Santos Basin may be transformative for the Brazilian energy sector. The company said the oil column so far measured 965 feet.

Petrobras in early August said it would charter 12 floating drilling platforms for use in the Santos Basin. The Brazilian government will have a majority stake in the platforms, which Petrobras will charter for 15 years.

The company expects delivery of the platforms by 2016. They're designed to operate in waters as deep as 9,800 feet.

Petrobras said there was an estimated 2.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent in the region.

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