New oil reserves discovered in Brazil off coast of Sergipe

The Associated Press, 10/23/2013

Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency says large reserves of oil are located off the coast of the northeastern state of Sergipe, representing a new frontier in petroleum development in Latin America’s biggest country.

Agency director Magda Chambriard said Wednesday that numbers on how much oil is in the reserves would not be announced before 2016.

Most of the country’s oil production is concentrated in southeastern Brazil, where over the past several years billions of barrels of oil have been discovered in offshore reserves, mostly in deep, pre-salt fields.

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Brazil awards potential oil bonanza to global consortium

Shasta Darlington – CNN, 10/21/2013

A consortium including Petrobras, Shell, Total and two Chinese companies was the winner and sole bidder in Brazil’s auction of a giant offshore oil block, considered one of the most promising in the world.

Protesters clashed with police and Army troops a couple of blocks from the hotel where the auction was carried out as oil workers and activists denounced the auction as a sale of national assets to foreign companies.

Protesters attacked parked cars and metal barriers protecting the areal while security forces fired tear gas. The government deployed Army troops ahead of the auction to help cordon off the area.

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Brazil’s Libra deepwater oilfield expected to yield a million bpd

MercoPress, 07/14/2013

The consortium that is awarded the right to develop the Libra prospect will likely need to drill for about four years after signing its production-sharing agreement, with commercial production likely to begin in the fifth year, ANP Director-General Magda Chambriard told a press conference in Rio de Janeiro.

ANP studies indicate that between 12 and 18 production platforms will be needed to develop Libra, whose recoverable oil is estimated at between 8 billion and 12 billion barrels, nearly equivalent to Brazil’s current proven-reserve base of 14 billion barrels.

Libra, located some 183 km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state in an area of the Atlantic Ocean where water depths range from between 1,700 meters and 2,400 meters, will be the first pre-salt field to be auctioned off by Brazil.

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Brazil plans to woo big oil by offering 30% of Libra’s profit

Petter Millard & Laurie Hays – Bloomberg, 06/13/2013

Brazil is preparing to woo producers by offering at most a 30 percent take for developing its largest oil field. Analysts say it’s enough to spur interest.

The oil regulator is preparing a road show to the U.S., Europe and Asia in late June and early July to market Libra, the largest oil discovery in Brazil that is up for auction in October, Magda Chambriard, the head of the National Petroleum Agency, said yesterday. The quality of the oil and the size of the reserves have lured the interest of all major companies from Chevron Corp (CVX). to China Petrochemical Corp., or Sinopec, she said.

Brazil is competing for investments at a time producers are using new technologies to extract crude from shale beds across the U.S. and explorers are expanding activity off the coast of Africa. The country is counting on the so-called pre-salt region where Libra and its biggest finds are located to double crude output by 2020.

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Brazil finds oil droplets leaking in offshore Petrobras field

Dow Jones/Fox Business, 04/09/2012

Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency, or ANP, said Monday oil droplets have been discovered leaking from the seabed in the giant offshore Roncador oil field, operated by state-owned energy company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR, PETR4.BR), or Petrobras.

The seepage point lies about 500 meters from Roncador’s border with the Frade oil field, operated by U.S. oil giant Chevron Corp. (CVX), where a November drilling accident caused an estimated 2,400 to 3,000 barrels of oil to spill into the Atlantic Ocean.

Chevron shut down production at Frade last month after oil was found seeping from the seabed some three miles from the site its November spill. Chevron and platform owner Transocean Ltd. (RIG, RIGN.VX) are facing criminal charges, lawsuits and fines from regulators, and ANP suspended the former company’s drilling rights in Brazil.

Petrobras to provide 5,000 scholarships to Brazilian students

EFE/LAHT, 03/06/2012

State-controlled oil giant Petrobras plans to provide 5,000 scholarships over the next six years to Brazilian students who plan to earn degrees abroad in fields related to the energy industry, the National Petroleum Agency, or ANP, said.

The Petrobras scholarship plan, which will cost 320.9 million reais (about $188.8 million), has been approved by the ANP.

The goal is to train workers to meet Petrobras’s growing demand for skilled personnel in strategic areas.

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Chevron and Brazil’s oil industry: Oil, water and trouble

The Economist – from the print edition, 12/31/2011

THE flow of oil from cracks in the seabed off the coast of Rio de Janeiro has long since slowed to a mere trickle. Not so the retribution against Chevron, an American oil company that was drilling in the Frade oilfield on November 7th when a sudden rise in pressure caused a leak.

Brazil’s environment agency, IBAMA, has fined the company 50m reais ($28m) for the leak. On December 23rd it levied a further 10m reais for poor contingency planning. The National Petroleum Agency (ANP), the industry regulator, has closed one of Chevron’s Frade wells and suspended the firm’s drilling rights. The Rio de Janeiro state government is suing for 150m reais. A federal prosecutor in Campos, a city in the north of the state, is demanding 20 billion reais in punitive damages and seeking an injunction to halt all operations in Brazil by both Chevron and Transocean, the subcontractor drilling for it in Frade. Federal police, meanwhile, want to bring criminal charges against bosses of both companies.

After the 4.9m-barrel spill from the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, oil regulators around the world are in no mood for leniency. But the blitz against Chevron, for a leak of no more than 3,000 barrels, makes some industry-watchers wonder whether Brazil wants foreign oil companies at all. “The reactions are out of proportion with the size of the leak,” says José Goldemberg, an energy and environment specialist at the University of São Paulo. Petrobras, Brazil’s state-controlled oil giant, holds a minority stake in Frade, but none of the lawsuits or fines names it as a respondent. “I don’t think there would have been the same enthusiasm for big fines if Petrobras had been drilling.”

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Brazil suspends Chevron drilling rights until it clarifies the recent oil spill

Mercopress, 11/28/2011

Chevron Brazil CEO George Buck apologized and said the company acted responsibly

Brazil’s National Oil Regulator (ANP) said on Wednesday that it is suspending the drilling rights of US oil major Chevron in national territory until it clarifies conditions of the recent oil spill in its Frade field.

The ANP also said it has denied Chevron’s request to drill into ultra-deep sub-salt areas, which hold huge deposits of oil off Brazil’s coast.

More than 2.400 barrels leaked into the Atlantic Ocean about 370 kilometers off the northeastern coast of Rio de Janeiro state.

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Brazil oil company reports small offshore gas leak

AP/SF Examiner, 11/26/2011

Brazil’s state-controlled oil company says it detected and later contained a small gas leak on one of its oil platforms off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.  Petroleo Brasileiro SA says in a statement that a minimum amount of gas leaked from its P-40 platform Friday morning and was contained later in the day. It says there is no risk of fire or explosion.

Less than three weeks ago, oil started leaking at the site of an appraisal well operated by Chevron off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

On Wednesday, the National Petroleum Agency banned the California-based company from drilling for oil until the causes of the ongoing leak are identified. The agency has said that more than 110,000 gallons (416,400 liters) of oil have leaked into the Atlantic ocean.

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Brazil to fine Chevron $28m for Rio oil spill

BBC News, 11/24/2011

An investigation into the cause of the spill off Rio de Janeiro is continuing

Brazil has announced it is fining US oil company Chevron $28m (£17.9m) for causing an oil spill off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

Chevron has accepted responsibility, saying it had underestimated the pressure of underwater oil deposits while drilling.

Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said Chevron could face further fines if an investigation into the spill revealed more infractions.

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