Statoil's reach in Espirito Santo widens

Agência Nacional do Petróleo, Gás Natural e Biocombustíveis (ANP) cleared Statoil to enter the São Bernardo discovery in Espírito Santo (pictured, image courtesy Statoil), the Norwegian company announced.

The São Bernardo oil discovery, made in April 2013, proved two reservoir levels with 34 – 36° API oil. Statoil said that the discovery is currently being appraised by the drilling of the Montanhês well.

“With these discoveries and the 11th licencing round awards last year, Statoil has further deepened its position in this emerging oil play as we indicated at our capital market update in February. We are very well positioned for the upside,” Tim Dodson, executive vice president, Exploration, said.

On 27 Dec 2012, Statoil farmed in to the BM-ES-22A concession, which holds the São Bernardo discovery, through the purchase of Brazilian mining firm Vale SA’s 25% participating interest for a cash payment of US$40 million. Petrobras, as operator, holds the remaining 75% interest.

The farm-in is in keeping with Statoil’s strategy of investing in those licenses close to what is already participates in to snap up significant acreage in some of Brazil’s most sought-after oil and gas real estate.

"In Espírito Santo, we plan to shoot 6km of seismic. Hopefully, will start next year. It's part of the commitment we made: We committed to drilling 10 wells," Statoil Brazil Country President Thore E. Kristiansen told OE exclusively in January.

On 15 May 2013, Statoil was awarded six licenses in Brazil’s 11th licensing round, all of which were in Espírito Santo's 129,429sq km. It also currently operates the Pegrino field, which is located 85km (53mi) off the coast of Rio de Janeiro in the 115,000km (71,457mi) Southern Campos Basin area. It produces 100,000 bo/d. Statoil says it is the largest international operator in Brazil.

BM-ES-22A contains Blocks ES-M-468 and ES-M-527, and verges on another license Statoil (40%) and operator Petrobras (60%) in: BM-ES-32. The latter license is home to the Indra discovery, which presented a 70m-thick column of light oil in a good quality sandstone reservoir in December 2010.

“The acquisition allows Statoil to expand its position in a prioritized basin for Statoil. The position is in line with Statoil’s exploration strategy of deepening core areas,” Nick Maden, senior vice president, Exploration International, said at the time of the transaction.

The ANP approved Statoil's appraisal plan for the São Bernardo discovery in January 2014. Statoil is also currently preparing for the acquisition of 3D seismic data, which is estimated to start during the second quarter of 2014 on the blocks awarded in the 11th Round.

More coverage of Statoil in Brazil:

Statoil joins Brazil license

Norwegian know-how - Kristiansen chats with Sarah P. Musarra about Peregrino for OE's January 2014 issue

Brazil licensing round attracts $1.4B

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