Nov. 1, 2010
-- The Brazilian government has informed Regal Group International that its deep-water Libra oil field which lies in the Santos Basin off the country’s south east coast may hold as much as 16 billion barrels, possibly making it the largest crude discovery for the America’s region in over three decades.
Harold Lima, head of the national petroleum regulator, ANP said in a recent statement that field wholly owned by the state may hold between 7.9 billion and 16 billion barrels.
“Government officials have always been excited about the prospects for Libra,” Christopher Garman, director for Latin America at Washington-based researcher Eurasia Group told sources known to Regal Group International. “The big challenge will be how to develop all this.”
If the estimates of 16 billion barrels prove accurate Libra would be the largest discovery in the Americas since Mexico discovered Cantarell in 1976, and would make it twice as big as the state-controlled Petroloea Brasileiro SA Tupi field which has estimated reserves of between 5 billion and 8 billion barrels.
The two fields are located in Brazil’s Santos Basin , in an area known as the pre-salt, which runs 800 km’s off the coast, with the oil deposits lying under a layer of salt as deep as 3,000 meters beneath the ocean surface and a further 5,000 meters beneath the seabed.
The most recent Libra estimate is based on a study by Gaffney, Cline & Associates, Lima told Regal Group International. The county’s ANP has announced that the government intends to keep control of the Libra field as the South American nation strengthens its hold on its oil reserves.
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