BP PLC Monday said it has completed a flow test at its Itaipu-1A well offshore Brazil, one of the world's most promising oil and gas frontiers, that indicates commercially viable flow rates from the pre-salt reservoir.
BP said the test achieved flow rates of up to 5,600 barrels of oil a day for 32 hours from the well, which is located in the deep-water sector of the Campos Basin, 125 kilometers offshore Brazil.
"This is a good result for the Itaipu project, indicating that commercially viable flow rates can be achieved from this pre-salt carbonate reservoir," said BP vice president for exploration Brazil Neil Piggott.
Geologists believe the oil and gas exploration areas off Brazil's northeastern coast may hold similar reserves to those found in west Africa. Bountiful hydrocarbon discoveries in the last decade have led to a near 70% rise in the South American country's proven oil and gas reserves. Much of that success has been achieved by tapping reservoirs contained beneath an ultra-deep layer of salt that lies thousands of meters below the seabed.
The Itaipu-1A pre-salt well was drilled in 2009 by Devon. BP purchased Devon's interests in Brazil in 2011.
The Itaipu-2 appraisal well was drilled in 2011. A second appraisal well location, Itaipu-3, has been agreed with the Brazilian National Petroleum Agency, and will be the next operation at the Itaipu field later this year.
BP is the operator of the block with 40% equity. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) holds a 33.3% stake in the block and Maersk Energia Ltda. has a 26.7% share.