Petrobras kicks off drilling ops in Brazilian Equatorial Margin
Brazilian state-owned oil and gas giant Petrobras has embarked on drilling operations at a well, which marks the resumption of the company’s search for oil and gas in the Equatorial Margin, stretching along the Brazilian coast from the state of Rio Grande do Norte to Amapá.
Petrobras started drilling the Pitu Oeste (RN) well on December 23, 2023, in the BM-POT-17 concession, located 53 kilometers off the coast of Rio Grande do Norte. These drilling operations are expected to take between three and five months. This well will enable Petrobras to obtain more geological information about the area, allowing the Brazilian player to confirm the extent of the oil discovery already made in 2014 in the Pitu well.
Jean Paul Prates, president of Petrobras, commented: “Petrobras intends to contribute to the socio-economic development of the region, without forgetting the importance of being part of the efforts to promote national energy security. The Equatorial Margin will be an important asset even for global sustainability.”
The firm received an operating license from IBAMA in October 2023 to drill two oil and gas exploration wells in deep waters in the Potiguar Basin, on the Brazilian Equatorial Margin. Under the same environmental license, the company plans to drill the Anhangá well, in the POT-M-762 concession, located 79 km off the coast of the state of Rio Grande do Norte, next to the Pitu Oeste well.
If the economic feasibility of the concession is confirmed, Petrobras underlines that it will be necessary to design and develop the entire operational structure for production and a new environmental licensing process will have to be carried out specifically for the production stage.
The Brazilian giant’s Strategic Plan 2024-2028 entails an investment of $3.1 billion for oil and gas exploration in the Equatorial Margin, where the company plans to drill 16 wells during this period. These drilling plans are being pursued due to the firm’s conviction that the region has a relevant oil potential, even more so in the aftermath of recent discoveries made by other companies in regions close to the border, such as Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname.
During the next five years, oil and natural gas are expected to be given the biggest slice of Petrobras’ $102 billion investment pie while $11.5 billion is earmarked for projects that will enable a reduction in carbon footprint.