BRAZILIAN hydrocarbons regulator ANP estimates that the pre-salt reserves in blocks currently held by Petrobras and other operators are in the range 50-70billion barrels oil equivalent.
That is roughly two to three times what the UK North Sea may have left to exploit and more than four times Brazil’s present reserves.
ANP director Magda Chambriard indicated last month that the Tupi field alone – the first of the spectacular new Santos Basin finds – accounts for about 10% of the pre-salt reserves and that it and Iara alone hold 8-12billion boe.
Chambriard said it would take as many as 500 wells to develop the pre-salt province and that it would require at least 5,000km of special steel pipe.
She also said that just to develop Tupi would require up to $70billion of investment.
ANP’s director-general, Haroldo Lima, added that, even if oil prices slumped to the $35-45 per barrel range, pre-salt would still make money.
However, this is at odds with the Petrobras view.
It has been reported that Jose Jorge de Moraes jun, general manager for new business at the company’s exploration and production department, reckons oil at $60 per barrel or less is an impediment to developing the spectacular Santos Basin resource.