Brazil Launches Oil Spill Containment Plan
Finally, after much criticism from environmentalists, politicians and even from oil industry executives, the Brazilian government launches a comprehensive oil spill contingency plan. Ironically, the PNC (National Contingency Plan), is being launched one day after the giant Libra pre-salt field auction. It’s hard to understand why the PNC wasn’t announced before the Libra auction, especially if it was ready, as it must have been. The PNC plan, according to the biggest Brazilian newspaper O Globo, had been ready and shelved in a Brazilian State Department office for over one year. Interestingly, the plan was announced one day after this same newspaper alerted that the Libra field was going to be auctioned without any oil spill contingency plan ready.
Franco Pre-Salt – New Monster Play in Brazil
The Franco pre-salt field, which is located southwest of the massive Libra field that will be auctioned in October 21st, originally had been forecast to contain 3 billion barrels boe of recoverable light oil. In light of new studies, the Franco pre-salt field is now believed to contain recoverable oil volumes equal to or superior to the Libra pre-salt field, something hovering around 10 billion barrels boe. This is excellent news for Petrobras, which is in the process of making major exploratory, production and infrastructure investments and desperately needs new capital. The reason it being excellent news has nothing to do with oil auction…
A Monster Named Libra
Back in 2009 I asked a good friend of my late father, who happened to be a long time Petrobras geologist, if he really knew the full potential of the pre-salt, after a while he looked up and said no not really, I know there are big fields out there, probably up to 10 billion boe in some reservoirs, possibly much more... Well, Petrobras kept on drilling and when Libra was found northeast of the Lula field (5 to 8 billion barrels boe), in 2010, the expectations ran high. Maybe 3.7 billion boe, maybe 15 billion boe. Probably 7.9, those are the numbers the ANP had in 2010. By May 2011 the ANP was downgrading it to 5 billion barrels boe.
New Pre-salt Discovery has 4,5 billion barrels of Recoverable Light Oil
This new ANP discovery is the 2nd largest pre-salt discovery to date in Brazil and highlights the excellent potential of the Brazilian pre-salt.The ultra deepwater well (2-ANP-1-RJS ) was drilled at an area which has been named Franco, it lies 2.189 meters deep and the 4,5 billion barrels of light oil are of around 30º API. The well is located 195km from Rio de Janeiro and 41 km from the Iara pre-salt field, which has a recoverable oil potential of 3 to 4 billion barrels. Both are located at the Santos Basin. The Tupi field, also at the Santos Basin is still the largest discovery to date in Brazil, will a recoverable oil potential of 5 to 8 billion barrels.