Petrobras is looking to focus its exploration efforts on the potential of the equatorial margin later this decade, Rystad Energy said, with hopes to replicate the unprecedented success at Guyana’s Stabroek Block.
The basins that Brazil’s state explorer is expected to target are Foz do Amazonas, Para- Maranhão, Barreirinhas, Ceará, and Potiguar, according to Rystad’s 2023 Brazil Market Outlook.
From 2024 to 2026, the operator plans to drill more than seven wells on prospects initially mapped by TotalEnergies in the Foz do Amazonas Basin, another four in the Barreirinhas basin, and possibly at least one well – Pitu Oeste – in the POT-M-855 block in the Potiguar basin where the Pitu discovery was made in 2014. Rystad said prospects in the region could amount to over seven billion barrels. In its latest strategic plan for 2023-2027, Petrobras indicated investments of nearly US$3 billion in the Equatorial Margin area, almost half of the total projected US$6 billion for exploration in the four-year period.
This year, Rystad said exploration activity is set to rise with more than 15 wells planned in the Campos, Santos, Sergipe-Alagoas, Potiguar, and Foz do Amazonas basins– the latter two parts of the frontier Equatorial Margin region.
“We have identified three high-impact wells based on the resources being targeted, the basins where they are being drilled (emerging basin), and their priority ranking in the operator’s regional strategy,” Rystad said.
These are Petrobras’ Morpho-1 in the Foz do Amazonas basin (emerging basin), and the two Campos Basin wells – Mola-1 (Petronas, high-priority well) and Nemo-1 (TotalEnergies, large prospective resources). Majors Shell, BP, and ExxonMobil are also expected to spin their drill bits in the Brazilian deepwater region, and Petrobras plans appraisal of the Alto de Cabo Frio Central discovery.
Rystad said Brazil has an undiscovered resource base of as much as 24 billion barrels.
Offshore Guyana, ExxonMobil has discovered 11 billion oil-equivalent barrels in the 6.6 million-acre Stabroek Block. The company has two projects producing 380,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil, and two more sanctioned projects on the way. Exxon and its Stabroek Block co-venturers continue to see multi-billion-barrel potential in the acreage.