Sao Paulo – The southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais is touting a new natural gas deposit that could enable it to achieve self-suffiency in that hydrocarbon fuel.
The state government released a technical viability study Thursday that estimates output of between 7-8 million cubic meters (245-280 million cubic feet) per day beginning in 2013, equivalent to about 25 percent of the natural gas that Brazil purchases from Bolivia, its main supplier.
The reserve, which could hold between 176.5 billion and 194.6 billion cubic meters (6.2-6.8 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas, is located in Morada Nova de Minas, a town in the valley of the Sao Francisco River.
According to the statement, the reserve will boost gas supplies and help lower the price of that hydrocarbon.
The wells are to be developed by a consortium made up of state-owned Codemig (with a 49 percent stake), Orteng Equipamentos e Sistemas (30 percent), Delp Engenharia (11 percent) and Imetame (10 percent).
Although a portion of the gas could be exported to other states or countries, Gov. Antonio Anastasia said the production capacity of the reserve will not alter plans for a pipeline project proposed by President Dilma Rousseff.
Located in a 2,900-sq.-kilometer (1,120-sq.-mile) block, the deposit's reserves represent 25 years of production.