Brazil reports oil and gas discovery uptick

Friday, July 14, 2017

Oil and gas companies reported seven hydrocarbon discoveries in Brazil in the second quarter amid signs of a timid recovery in the battered local sector.

The tally compares to just one discovery in the previous quarter and four in the April-June period last year, according to data compiled by industry regulator ANP.

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The most recent find was reported by state-run giant Petrobras, which identified oil at the offshore Marlim field in the Campos basin.

It came less than two weeks after the Rio de Janeiro-based firm found oil and gas on the onshore POT-T-613 block in Rio Grande do Norte state's Potiguar basin.

Petrobras also encountered hydrocarbons on three separate occasions while drilling the 1347DBA well on the Recôncavo basin's REC-T-70 block in April and May.

Brazil's other Q2 discoveries were made by Great Oil Perfurações (GOP) on the Recôncavo basin's REC-T-107 block.

Just 28 hydrocarbons finds have been reported to ANP in the past 18 months compared to 75 in 2015 and 174 in 2012, according to BNamericas research.

The slowdown comes as a global oil price slump enters its fourth year, prompting frugal spending on new exploration projects.

Brazilian oil and gas drilling activity peaked at the start of the decade as Petrobras and the Eike Batista-owned OGX capitalized on a commodities boom, rushing to plunder pre-salt riches deep below the Atlantic.

But Batista triggered Latin America's biggest corporate default in 2013 when he sought bankruptcy protection for OGX, now known as OGpar.

Meanwhile Petrobras remains mired in crisis, ravaged by a massive corruption scandal and years of mismanagement.