It was imagined to be BP’s large Brazilian breakthrough after years of setbacks in one of many world’s high locations for offshore oil.

The potential bonanza continues to be out of attain, two years after the London-based main teamed up with Brazil’s nationwide oil firm and a unit of China National Petroleum Corp. to outbid two rival teams for the Peroba deepwater block. Data revealed by the National Petroleum Agency, or ANP, present the explorers haven’t discovered the sort of hydrocarbons that herald cash.

The first nicely, which generally prices $90 million to $150 million to drill, encountered solely carbon dioxide and pure fuel, in keeping with the ANP information. Stand-alone pure fuel fields aren’t worthwhile in Brazil’s deep waters as a result of there aren’t sufficient pipes to get the molecules to shoppers on land. That means Peroba in all probability gained’t ship riches until additional exploration results in a big oil discovery.


The ANP’s press workplace confirmed the info and mentioned giant accumulations of carbon dioxide are potential in what’s referred to as the pre-salt area of the deepwater subject. BP declined to touch upon Peroba, as did CNPC’s workplace in Rio de Janeiro. State-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro SA, the operator, mentioned the outcomes are nonetheless being analyzed by the consortium.

While the minimal exploration plan was accomplished with the drilling of the primary nicely, the businesses proceed to check the world, the Brazilian firm mentioned in an emailed response to questions. It declined to touch upon the event of stand-alone pure fuel fields within the pre-salt space.

Focus on Oil

“The pre-salt is nice, but it surely’s not a sea of oil; there are nonetheless dangers,” mentioned Marcelo de Assis, the pinnacle of Latin American upstream analysis for Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “Deepwater fuel is one thing that doesn’t work. All the developments are specializing in oil.”

Petrobras, which is asking the photographs because the operator, has loads of world class oil tasks to maintain it busy. An enormous pure fuel subject the corporate found again in 2008 in the identical deepwater area hasn’t been developed but.

The intense competitors for latest pre-salt blocks signifies that fields should be within the 2 – three Bbbl vary to be worthwhile, in keeping with Assis. For smaller discoveries, operators might want to renegotiate the phrases or hand them again to regulators, he mentioned.

Efforts in Vain

While BP has been investing in Brazil since Petrobras misplaced its exploration monopoly on the flip of the century, the trouble hasn’t delivered manufacturing or confirmed reserves the best way it has for European rivals Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Equinor ASA, who took benefit of low oil costs lately to purchase into present pre-salt discoveries.

BP’s drilling marketing campaign within the 2000s in deep waters off the coast of the Amazon River basin by no means panned out. In 2011, the corporate purchased a gaggle of property from Devon Energy Corp. for $three.2 billion. It offered the one producing property for $135 million in 2013, and booked $2.2 billion in Brazil-related write downs from 2013 by 2016. None of its remaining Devon prospects have delivered any manufacturing but.

Still, BP has loads of possibilities left in Brazil. In July, the ANP authorized an exploration plan for Pau Brasil, a pre-salt prospect that the corporate acquired in 2018 the place it controls operations. It has stakes in 25 blocks within the nation and operates 6 of them, in keeping with its web site. And the nation has three extra deepwater public sale rounds scheduled for this yr, with one providing entry to confirmed reserves.

BP CEO Bob Dudley has struck a cautious tone about investing in new rounds, saying earlier this month in a name hosted by JPMorgan Chase & Co., “You must watch out there” as a result of it’s potential to overpay. “We’ll actually must sharpen our pencil on that one.”

His feedback monitor a wider strategic shift on the firm. Rather than the outdated days of pouring infinite into the newest exploration hotspot, the corporate has pared spending. One of its largest oil finds of the final…

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