Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petrobras has announced the discovery of good-quality crude at two new wells in the pre-salt Florim and Iara fields.

"Excellent quality" crude with an American Petroleum Institute gravity of 29 degrees was found at the first well at a depth of up to 5,679 meters (18,620 feet) in Florim, the company said Friday.

The discovery was made at a distance of seven kilometers (4.3 miles) from the first well drilled in this area of the Santos Basin, located some 200 kilometers (125 miles) off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state.

A large, 526-meter-thick (1,720-foot-thick) oil column was found at the second well, drilled in the vicinity of the Iara field; the crude was measured to a depth of 5,907 meters (19,370 feet) and has an API gravity of 26 degrees.

Crude exploration in these areas will be prolonged until September, after which time Petrobras is expected to announce whether Florim and Iara are commercially viable.

The pre-salt, a massive, recently discovered oil frontier so-named because its reserves are located under water, rocks and a shifting layer of salt at depths of up to 7,000 meters (22,950 feet) below the surface of the Atlantic, is a focus of Petrobras' investment plan and could vastly increase Brazil's proven reserves and turn the country into a major crude exporter. EFE