Shell Brazil Plans to Drill 10 Wells

Source: Reuters 12/7/2010, Location: South America

The Brazilian division of Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) plans to drill ten wells over the next 18 months in the South American country and could participate in future oil field auctions, a company official said.

Shell Brasil President Jose Araujo said the company plans to significantly boost investments in the country but declined to provide figures.

"We don't offer numbers, but we have an exploratory plan for the next 18 months to drill 10 wells," Jose Araujo told reporters on the sidelines of an industry forum. "We are very optimistic."

Shell Brasil plans to drill a second well in the Santos Basin BM-S-54 block in 2011 or 2012, Araujo said. In September the company found signs of oil after drilling a well in that block, which is located in the deep water region known as the subsalt believed to hold 50 billion barrels. The company produces a total of 100,000 barrels per day in two fields in Brazil.

"We are interested in participating in auctions, (but) we have to wait to see what the auctions will offer," he said.

Brazil pulled subsalt blocks from an auction in 2007 to develop new rules for companies seeking to invest in that region and has not tendered subsalt areas since then. Congress last week approved legislation creating those new rules, and Brazilian authorities expect auctions in the subsalt region could resume in the second half of 2011.


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