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17.01.2011

Petrobras’ Oil and Gas Reserves Rose 7.5% in 2010

Brazilian state-controlled energy giant Petrobras’ proven oil and gas reserves rose to approximately 16 billion barrels of oil equivalent in 2010, up 7.5 percent from the previous year, the company said.

Of those reserves, 15.3 billion barrels are located in Brazil and 703 million barrels are located at deposits outside the country, Petrobras said in a statement Friday, noting that the estimate was made using Society of Petroleum Engineers guidelines.

The increase from 14.9 billion barrels in 2009 was due to the incorporation of new reserves from pre-salt areas in the Campos Basin, as well as discoveries made at other deposits Petrobras is developing in Brazil and abroad, the statement added.

Under stricter U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission criteria, Petrobras’ reserves climbed 5 percent to 12.7 billion barrels.

The pre-salt area is a massive, recently discovered frontier that measures 800 kilometers (500 miles) long and 200 kilometers (125 miles) wide and is estimated to hold some 80 billion barrels of crude.

But accessing those fields will be very costly and pose an enormous technical challenge because they are located some 150 kilometers (93 miles) offshore at depths of between 5,000-7,000 meters (16,400-22,950 feet) and under a layer of salt up to 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) thick.

Drastic changes in temperature as the oil is brought to the surface add to the technical complexity of developing those fields.

Copyright 2010, Latin American Herald Tribune. All rights reserved.

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