Brazilian state-controlled energy giant Petrobras said Thursday it struck light oil at a well in ultra-deep waters of the Sergipe-Alagoas basin.
The new find was made at the BM-SEAL-11 block, a concession in which Petrobras is the operator with a 60 percent stake and partner IBV Brasil holds the remaining 40 percent.
The discovery was made at the Farfan well, which was drilled 109 kilometers (68 miles) off the coast of Aracaju, capital of the northeastern Brazilian state of Sergipe, in an area of the Atlantic where the water depth is 2,720 meters (8,920 feet).
The discovery well was drilled at a spot 21 kilometers (13 miles) from the Barra 1 well, where a discovery in the fall of 2010 revealed the existence of a new and promising oil province in the the Sergipe-Alagoas basin.
According to Petrobras' statement on Thursday, a 44-meter (144-foot) column of hydrocarbons was found by drilling the Farfan well to a depth of 5,582 meters (18,300 feet).
A total of 40 meters corresponds to porous sandstone bearing light oil, the company said, adding that the well will continue to be drilled to a depth of at least 6,000 meters (19,670 feet) to analyze the reservoir rock and fluids.
Petrobras, one of the world's fastest-growing oil firms and a leader in deep-water exploration, obtains nearly 80 percent of its production from the Campos basin, off Brazil's southeastern coast.
In recent years, the company discovered an enormous new offshore oil frontier known as the "pre-salt," so-named because it is located far below the ocean floor under a shifting layer of salt up to two kilometers (1.2-miles) thick.
Distributed across roughly 160,000 sq. kilometers (62,000 sq. miles) in the Campos and adjacent Santos basins, that region is projected to hold tens of billions of barrels of light oil and could potentially transform the South American country into a major exporter of crude and derivatives.
Petrobras, which operates in 28 countries on five continents, produces an average of roughly 2.6 million barrels per day of oil and natural gas equivalent at its domestic and foreign fields. EFE