Record flow rate on Brazil’s Franco oil prospect

* Franco prospect flow rate Brazil record 50,000 bpd

* High flow rate expected to reduce production costs

By Denise Luna

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 12 (BestGrowthStock) – The rate of oil flowing
from Brazil’s 4.5-billion-barrel Franco oil prospect was 50,000
barrels per day, a record high rate for Brazil, the country’s
oil regulator ANP said on Monday.

Franco is the first of two massive subsalt fields in the
Santos Basin that the Brazilian government has commissioned the
the state-run oil company Petrobras (PETR4.SA: )(PBR.N: ) to drill
into to measure possible reserves.

The ANP also said that the Franco crude was relatively
light weight — 30 degrees on the American Petroleum Institute
standard. Most of Brazil’s crude is a heavier crude of around
18 API.

“It’s a very significant volume, very high, and it is
important because it shows that the cost (of production) could
be less as fewer wells will need to be drilled,” said an
analyst who declined to be named.

The previous flow rate record in Brazil was held by a
Petrobras well in the Campos Basin with 43,000 bpd.

Brazilian regulators said in May preliminary estimates
suggest the Libra prospect, the second of the two fields being
tested, may hold even more oil than the Franco find.
[ID:nN14235772]

The state hopes to give about 5 billion barrels from these
fields to Petrobras in exchange for shares as part of a
capitalization plan for the state oil company to fund its
exploration and development of the entire subsalt region.

The entire subsalt region lies under a vast layer of salt
and could hold more than 50 billion barrels of oil.

But the government’s plan to tap the offshore oil to spur
economic development for the coming decade still hangs in the
balance, depending on the outcome of October’s presidential
vote. [ID:nN08149614]
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Graphic of Brazil’s major subsalt projects:

http://link.reuters.com/wec82j

Graphic of Petrobras oil production:

http://link.reuters.com/daj42j

Factbox on the capitalization plan [ID:nN12225996]

Factbox on subsalt discoveries [ID:nN12189791]
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(Writing by Reese Ewing; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Record flow rate on Brazil’s Franco oil prospect