Petrobras confirms massive oil potential of Iara in the Santos Basin pre-salt offshore Brazil

By Phaedra Friend Troy

Confirming the field's massive potential, Brazilian major Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) completed the drilling of the exploratory extension well 3-BRSA-891A-RJS (3-RJS-682A) on the Iara oil and gas field in the Santos Basin pre-salt offshore Brazil.

Transecting a thick reservoir section, the Iara evaluation well confirmed a high-quality oil reservoir measuring 28-degrees API, as well as reinforced the field's potential to produce light oil and natural gas. Initial estimates of the size of Iara are between 3 and 4 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Known as Iara Horst, the evaluation well portrayed even better reservoir features than the discovery well, 1-BRSA-618-RJS (1-RJS-656)

With a drill stem test slated for later in 2011, Petrobras plans formation tests to better determine the reservoir's production potential.

Located on Block BM-S-11, the Iara Evaluation Plan is near the giant Cernambi and Lula fields (previously known as the Iracema and Tupi fields, respectively), which were recently declared commercial. Situated in waters measuring 2,279 meters, the Iara extension well is about 230 kilometers from the coast of Rio de Janeiro and 8 kilometers from the original Iara discovery well. 

Confident in the field's potential, Petrobras has already ordered an FPSO to develop the reserves on Iara, as well as awarded a subsea tree contract to Aker Solutions for the development.

Petrobras serves as the operator of Block BM-S-11 with 65 percent interest. Project partners include BG Group with 25 percent interest and Galp Energia with 10 percent interest.

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