Brazil has recently joined the club of major oil producers, following recent discoveries of significant reserves just off its coast in the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The newly discovered oil fields are all in the Santos Basin off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. Brazil will not be able to access the oil any time soon because the reserves are in extreme depths. Still, the oil could turn Brazil into one of the world's top 10 producers.
The Tupi field was the first of four reserves announced by the state-run oil company Petrobras in 2007. Authorities estimated that the deposit contained 5 billion to 8 billion barrels of oil and natural gas, enough to increase national oil reserves by more than half. The deposit is under more than 7,000 feet of water and an additional 16,600 feet of sand rock and salt.
A second discovery, announced in April 2008, was even bigger, with reserves estimated at 33 billion barrels in the Carioca and Sugarloaf Mountain fields in the deep waters of the Atlantic. And in May 2008, Petrobras announced the discovery of another mega field on the coast of São Paulo state.
There was a fourth discovery announced in January 2008, consisting primarily of natural-gas deposits. The massive deposit, off the coast of Rio de Janeiro in the vicinity of Tupiti, was dubbed Jupiter.
Chances are Petrobras would not have made these significant discoveries if the Brazilian government had not decided to place so much emphasis on offshore oil exploration in extremely deep waters during the past several years. The expertise that Petrobras has developed in this type of exploration has opened possible opportunities for joint ventures in the region. In 2009, Mexico's state-run oil company PEMEX proposed an alliance with Petrobras to explore and possibly extract oil in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
"By specializing in advanced ultra-deep offshore oil exploration, Brazil has moved from being a country dependent on ethanol for its gasoline consumption to becoming a net exporter of oil within less than a decade," said Jerome R. Corsi of WorldNetDaily.com.
This issue of NotiEn contains a few stories related to Brazil's discoveries and a potential partnership with Mexico. We will continue to follow Brazil as it grows into one of the world's major oil powers.